Group starts campaign for a national horse museum
HORSE lovers throughout Australia celebrated the horses' birthday at the weekend and a small group of people from the Clarence Valley are hoping to win support to build a national horse museum in Grafton.
Like their horse bloodlines who created thoroughbred racing history over 150 years ago, this group also believe they are backing a winner.
A spokeswoman for the group, Debrah Novak, said Australia needed its own dedicated national museum to the horse.
"Most people are unaware the purpose-bred Australian horse, the Waler was once regarded as the world's greatest horse by British royalty," she said.
"While the 'Waler' was a major export earner for the Australian economy with exports reaching over 500,000 between 1839 to 1939, it was also Australia's military horse for war."
Ms Novak believes Grafton and the Clarence region have earned the right and are perfectly placed to have the Australian national horse museum established in their city because of its own contribution to the national horse story.
"A few months ago Sydney's Royal Randwick Racecourse celebrated the 150th running of its feature three-year-old race, the Sydney Gold Cup. This blue ribbon race which began in 1866 as a rival to the Melbourne Cup was won that year by a Clarence horse, Yattendon who was bred by Charles Grant Tindal at Ramornie Station at Grafton.
"Five years earlier in 1861, Tindal also bred the inaugural winner of the AJC Derby with 'Kyogle' and the winners of the same event in 1863 (Ramornie) and 1864 (Yattendon).
"Yattendon went on to become Australia's most successful colonial sire, while his half brother 'The Barb' who may have been successful on the track wasn't successful in the haybed."
The group launched the Australian National Horse Museum project and website on Sunday at Copmanhurst.