All for the Waler

We are a small group of Waler advocates pushing against the passage of time to document publicly what we and others know.

Used by the Australian Light Horse and many other armies worldwide, Walers were once known as the finest cavalry horse in the world. Buyers for India in particular purchased thousands at a time, leading to the establishment of the large ports of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Fremantle and Hobart, with the railway lines to support them. By the mid-1930s well over 500,000 Walers had been exported to overseas buyers, kickstarting our economy and establishing diplomatic relations.

Why and what is this site about? A group of people with Walers, growing old themselves, realised that there are no records of all Walers saved since 1986. To date no studbooks have been put online or made available to the public. Many horses were not registered with either breed association. As a result, it is hard to determine how many are about. Hence the creation of the database.

The goal is to draw on collective memory and create a publicly available record of all known Walers. Anyone is welcome to submit material to the database – information about individual horses, breed history, material related to foundation properties, photographs – all this adds to the richness of the database and to the preservation of this rare and important breed. Those of you who are fortunate enough to own a Waler can check the record and explore the breeding and history of your horse. The record will also help to prevent inadvertent inbreeding.

The database does not operate in competition with any breed association. Nor is registration with a breed association necessary to be listed. The background of all horses included on the database has been thoroughly checked to ensure that they are either from foundation properties (or areas) with a documented history of breeding Walers where the horses have remained isolated and continued to breed true or that they are the descendants of these foundation horses. We have also included an Unmatched section for horses we believe have the old bloodlines but do not have enough information to match them to a station.

Janet Lane and Angela Tiede scrutinise all material which is submitted to the database and answer queries on behalf of the team. Our thanks to all those Waler advocates who came before us, including Reg Wilson, Peter Fischer, Ros Sexton, Doug & Mary Treasure, Richard Crispin, and countless others. Our much-appreciated Web Developer is Susan McNab, who has also taken many of the photographs that appear throughout the website.

In addition to the important task of listing these horses, the database provides information on the stations they came from, their background and history. There are personal stories, photographs of past and present. This is a work in progress so please send in any Waler details you recall. Offer advice, corrections, photographs and stories. Without your contribution we will not be able to provide a comprehensive public record, and without one, our old-fashioned Walers will likely be lost to us all.

Welcome – we hope you enjoy browsing the site. Come back often. Tell your friends and be an advocate for our wonderful Australian Waler horse, they need you.