About Brumbie HorsesAbout Brumbie Horses

Brumbies are free-roaming feral horses in Australia. Although they are found in many areas around the country, the best-known Brumbies are found in the Australian Alps region. Brumbies have been seen in the Man from Snowy River movies and the opening of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.    

Brumbies are the descendants of the horses that were transported on ships from England with convicts and first settlers. The initial horses included "Capers" from South Africa, Timor Ponies from Indonesia, British pony and draught horse breeds, and a significant number of Thoroughbreds and Arabians. Many of those early horses escaped or were left to run free. Over time the developed into their own breed, much like America Mustang horses.  

The name ‘Brumby’ is generally thought to have originated from an early settler, James Brumby. Horses owned by him were left to free range and readily adapted to the harsh climate of the Australian bush. As there were vast areas of unfenced land the horses roamed freely and breeding was intermixed.  

Brumbies were used as war-horses in the First and Second World Wars and the Boer War in South Africa. They also were mounts used in the gold rush days and as police horses.  

Today Brumbies live in many places, including some National Parks. Occasionally they are mustered and domesticated for use as camp drafters, working stock horses on farms or stations, but also as trail horses, show horses, Pony Club mounts, and pleasure horses.  

Brumbies are the subject of some controversy. Some environmentalists and government officials believe that they are a diseased pest and a threat to native ecosystems. However others feel that they should be valued as part of Australia's heritage, and rehome Brumbies who have been captured.