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Formed in 2007 after several years of informal Brumby rescue, the Victorian Brumby Association has three key aims.
Firstly, to rescue and home Brumbies caught from the wild on public lands.
In fulfilling this aim, we have taken in more than 500 Brumbies from the Alpine National Park in Victoria and the Kosciuszko National Park and Bago State Forest in New South Wales.
In one program, the Bogong High Plains in Victorias Alpine National Park, we are lucky enough to be able to take in every single Brumby, which means they could range in age from eight weeks to fifteen years.
In others such as the Kosciuszko one, they trap each year so many more than can actually be homed. In this case, we aim to take in around one third older (pregnant) mares, one third older stallions and one third youngsters. Taking in older mares is a long term process as around 98% of mares over three are in foal at capture, so they need time and space to foal and raise their foals without risking stress induced abortions. It is also rewarding however, as we get to see these older mares blossom in their time in care. Stallions and colts are all, without any exception, gelded and turned out to learn how to be a good gelding and get along with other domestic mares and geldings.
All our newly caught Brumbies get the opportunity to settle into domestic life at our Brumby Junction Sanctuary, becoming accustomed to life on a farm along with other horses, dogs, sheep, chickens etc prior to and during their training.
Our second aim is to lobby against and work with the government agencies who are tasked with managing Brumbies in their home ranges.
This work is at times deeply satisfying and at other times incredibly frustrating, but we feel that the only way that we can effect change is to work with these agencies, towards a common goal. We are against ‘lethal control’ of Brumbies in any form, with our focus being on continuing to support the already great passive trapping programs some agencies already have, develop similar programs with other agencies and also to implement fertility control on free ranging wild horses. Each mare who doesn’t have a foal means one less Brumby that risks being taken from their homeland into an already overstretched domestic homing situation.
Work with these agencies is scattered, with not only different states having different agencies, managers and guidelines, but different National and State Parks within the same state having differences! We are proud to have good working relationships with these agencies and view ourselves as supporting healthy Australian ecosystems and the healthy Brumbies within them.
Lastly, we aim to educate the public in two ways
– about the sometimes dire situation that Brumbies in the wild face and the threats they are up against (mostly human)
– and also about what wonderful horses they make when domesticated with kindness.
To further this aim, we have developed programs like the Australian Brumby Challenge (www.australianbrumbychallenge.com.au ) , where trainers can apply to take home a totally unhandled wild Brumby for 150 days, meeting at the end to showcase what their Brumby has learnt and to find them homes.
We owe a huge thank you to EQUITANA Melbourne (www.equitana.com.au ) for seeing just how great this program is and partnering with us to bring Brumbies to a greater audience at EQUITANA Melbourne.
We also run our Wild Brumby Gentling Clinics, where people can choose their own young Brumby and gentle and train them under the supervision and support of our expert Brumby trainers.
Of course, we are part of a village. We are supported by the many people who have homed the Brumbies who have been through our program over the years, but the companies who have sponsored our events, by those individuals who sponsor our beautiful pregnant Brumbies and by our wonderful committee and volunteers.
We are a charity and 100% of our work is volunteer, with our Brumby sanctuary being privately owned by a committee member and its entire use gifted to the Victorian Brumby Association for the purpose of saving Brumbies. We work with other Brumby rescue groups in NSW, SA, WA and even in New Zealand. We have been supported in our learning by many wonderful American groups and scientists. We are so proud of the strong network that is coming together to help us to save our Heritage Australian Brumbies who are surely facing tough times right now.
Please get in touch if you have any questions or you’d like to get involved. We hope to see you at one of our open days, gentling clinics or even perhaps at the Australian Brumby Challenge finals at EQUITANA in November 2020.
We run our Wild Brumby Gentling Clinics, where people can choose their own young Brumby and gentle and train them under the supervision and support of our expert Brumby trainers.