The Story of Two Rescued Waler Ponies

Bay Boy (Bay Ben) and Grey Boy (Chingalinga/ Banjo)

A Waler Data Base @Facebook compilation. Image: Bay Boy and Grey Boy, 2018

Waler ponies Grey Boy and Bay Boy

In November of 2018, amid serious bushfires in central east Queensland, two little brumby colts were caught in yards when cattle were mustered to save them from the fires. There began an argument, as fires raged and smoke and embers swirled – it may be better to shoot them – they were also poor from the prolonged drought.

However, the station women stuck out to save them. Within two days a home was found – the horsey librarian at Biloela (Margaret Brooks) fell in love with them and took them in.

Within two months Margaret has their condition rapidly improving, a headstall on them, and they’re beginning to enjoy being brushed. The grey colt, Chingalinga (named by her pink princess granddaughter) even allowed a hoof to be cleaned out this week. The other, now named Bay Ben, also has an outstandingly trustworthy temperament. These ponies come from an area where nothing else has been let go as far as can be determined, for over 70 years, thus qualify as Waler ponies.

An Andalusian stallion was released in a distant area from where these colts were living, he was shot two years later, his offspring mustered and auctioned at sales, their temperament was wanting badly. That is the only release in the greater area that has been documented. It was a long way from where these ponies lived. Their Ancestry DNA has been tested and no Andalusian found

From this area, south of Bajool, and right down to the Callide range, ponies were once bred and mustered for the horse trade to India. A local remembers the last ship load of ponies from there leaving Gladstone back in the 1940’s. Most over the years, have been shot as feral. Margaret is seeking a home for the grey now he is improved in condition.

Rare little colts, living Queensland history. Well done all.

Documented in late 2018

Updates from late 2019/2020

Guess who this happy little darling is?! One of the two little colts rescued last year in the midst of bushfire in Queensland! He is now gelded.

Therese Creed, the famous Queensland author, who lives on a nearby property to where the colts were caught in old stockyards, was one of the women who stuck out to save them and find them a home. Her family knows all the horse history of the area. Many shiploads of ponies were sent from here to India in the trade days. They live in remote back country.

Both ponies went to Margaret in Bileola, who became unable to keep them after some months. She had fed them well, found a home for the bay, and sent the little silver pony to Burpengary Project Horses. Here he had a bit of gentle handling then was bought by Lilly Stagg-Fyfe who kindly sent us these photos and is pleased to know his background – he is a Waler pony – she has named him Banjo.

He could not have a better home! She loves him, and is proud of him, and says he has beautiful action and a great temperament. He is now broken in Her message with the photos said he is showing his personality at feed time. We are SO thrilled!

Thank you so much Lilly for sending the photos in and thank you to everyone along the way of his journey. A happy little living piece of Queensland history; a beautiful story of love and hard work rescuing life from the jaws of bushfire.

Bay Ben was gelded, and then also rehomed in 2019. He went to a family friend of Margaret’s and she is still able to see him.

Posted by The Walers

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