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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Horse bits: warhorse memorial, actor to join Brumby vigil and selections ...

ABOVE: The memorial to Bill the Bastard at Harden-Murrumburrah. Picture: DANIELLE WICKMAN

BILL the Bastard is getting to be more famous than Phar Lap.

A bronze, life-size sculpture of Australia's greatest war horse was unveiled by the Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cookes, at a ceremony in Harden-Murrumburrah on July 8.

"This project has been a long time in the works and is an absolute credit to the dedication and perseverance of many deeply passionate members in this community,” Ms Cookes said.

"Bill is a source of great pride for all involved and an absolute drawcard to Harden-Murrumburrah and the Hilltops region more broadly."

The Bill the Bastard statue was created by local sculptor Mr Carl Valerius and bronzed by Matt Crawford of Crawford's Casting. The unveiling was delayed by Covd restrictions for more than a year.

According to the Australian War Horse Memorial, “Bill was 17.1 hands high, weighed about 730kg and had strength and intelligence unmatched by any others of his breed. Bill showed courage, endurance and strength that became legendary. He had only one problem – he was the most cantankerous horse that had ever been encountered by the Lighthorsemen.”


AGRICULTURAL shows around Australia have been heavily affected by the Covid outbreak and subsequent lockdown.

Many have older people in key positions and after having two years away, they just don’t want to start the hard work again.

Some shows have already gone into recess, and others, like Apollo Bay have put out a call for help that is being echoed right around the country.

“The Apollo Bay Show runs on volunteers and in order for our show to continue we need new members. With some of our past committee members moving on, away or having changes in their circumstances we have some committee roles to fill and we are calling on the community to help fill these roles. We all know everyone loves the show, but not everyone wants to volunteer. Let’s change that!

“With the last few years in particular being hard on people with the pandemic and resulting restrictions and lockdowns etc, we want to give everyone something to look forward to by putting on a banger of a show next year, but in order for that to happen we need people!”

Anyone who can help can contact the committee at or phone president Tony Webber on (03) 5237 6926.

* TOM Burlinson will join a silent vigil with other Brumby supporters on the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne on August 1 at 1pm.

The vigil is to express opposition to the planned ground and aerial shooting of all Victorian Brumbies in National Parks by the Andrews Government.

Brumby advocates are lobbying for non-lethal management and introduction of legislation that will acknowledge the heritage value of Victorian Brumbies living in National Parks.

This year is the 40th anniversary of The Man from Snowy River film, in which Burlinson starred.


Looking for an overseas job? If you are handy with horses, maybe worked as a racing strapper, Olympic showjumper Matt Williams has two positions available.

Now he is back home in Temecula California after a jumping tour, Williams Equestrian /Finch Ridge Farm are looking for some more people to join their team. Matt and Abby have decided to do just a select few higher-level horses so that they can give them the time they need.

If you are interested in a position with them they are looking for another groom and a young horse rider who is motivated and willing to help with the grooming also.

If interested send a message and resume to


EQUESTRIAN Australia has named the showjumpers to represent Australia at the 2022 FEI World Championships in Herning, Denmark, from August 6 to 14.

The team is: Billy Raymont riding Black Jack IXE (owned by Janelle Whalley and Darren Wilson); Hilary Scott riding Oaks Milky Way (owned by Alice Cameron and groomed by Linda Bruinsma); James Arkins riding Eurostar I, owned by Arkins and Douglass Families and groomed by Ali Winton; and Katie Laurie riding Django II (owned by Katie and Jackson Laurie, Linda Southern, Vicki McVean, Mike and Carissa McCall and Jeff McVean).

Equestrian Australia High Performance acknowledges that additional combinations had secured the minimum eligibility requirement for the championships however, all of those on the list have advised of their unavailability for Herning.


IN other selection news for the world championships, the vaulting representatives have also been named.

The individual females, with horses and lungers to be confirmed, are Ginger Kennett and Stephanie Dore.

The squad is Arabella Read, Eloise Tate, Lydia George, Poppy Loveland, Sabine Osmotherly, Willow Vitu and Zoe Caddis (with horses and lungers to be confirmed).

Two non-traveling reserves have also been named for the para dressage team.

They are Amelia White (Grade V) riding Genius (owned by Amelia, Antje and Ian White) and Matilda Carnegie (Grade IV) riding Boccelli 6 (owned by Leslie Forlee and groomed by Elizabeth Dudman).

The FEI World Championships for eventing and driving will take place in Pratoni, Italy, from September 15 to 25 and teams for those will be announced on August 17.


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