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
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
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