Where did the name brumby originate?
There are a number of stories relating to the origin of the name
‘brumby’ including being derived from the cattle station Baramba, or a horse
breeder named Major Brumby, or derived from the Irish word bromach / bromaigh ‘a
colt’ or from the Aboriginal word ‘booramby’.
Another source of the name is thought to have been derived from James Brumby,
who arrived on the Britania in 1794. James Brumby was a soldier with the New
South Wales Corps. He was also a farrier and it is said that he was responsible
for some horses in the early Australian Colony. When he moved to Tasmania in
1804, it is said that he left some horses in New South Wales. When people asked
who owned the horses, the reply was “they are Brumby’s”.
Where can I see brumbies?
Australia has the largest number of wild horses in the world, and although the
brumbies of the Australian Alps region are probably the most famous, today the
majority of them are found in the Northern Territory and Queensland, followed by
Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria respectively.
Visitors to Central Australia and the Finke Gorge National Park, may see wild horses
(or brumbies) in the region, although the horses are restricted from entering
the main park area of the park including Palm Valley, by a electric fence.
These wild horses are descendents of the domestic horse, with many of the horses
in the Northern Territory and Central Australia coming from properties that once
specialised in breeding horses as army remounts. With mechanisation displacing
the mounted cavalry, many of these horses, like the camel, were left to roam
Guy Fawkes River National Park brumbies in northern New South Wales, are
known as the Guy Fawkes Heritage Horses.