Military history of our horses

The military history of the Heritage Australian Stockhorse Waler is of great importance to our stud. We are proud that most of our horses have direct links to "remounts" in both Palestine and India.

The Tester Link

Haydon Sun Charm (Troop Mount) and Haydon Rachel (broodmare), were bred at Bloomfield station by the Haydon family. Six generations of Haydon's have been breeding horses for over 170 years at Bloomfield and bred many horses as remounts for the Australian Light Horse. One such well known horse was the Bloomfield mare Midnight (by Tester) ridden by Lieutenant G.B. {Guy} Haydon. When in the Light Horse in Cairo, they were chosen to represent Australia against the British Cavalry and won the three events for Australia, the Sprint Race, Flag Race and Equitation Test. Unfortunately, Midnight was shot while jumping an enemy trench in the Battle of Beersheba. (The same bullet which killed Midnight was later removed from Guy Haydon and is still in the possession of his grandson at Bloomfield station). Guy's brother B.B. {Barney} Haydon riding his Bloomfield mount "Polo" by Tester and Max Wright, from a neighbouring property, riding “Fred” by Tester all survived the charge across the desert and helped in securing the prized wells of Beersheba.

Haydon Rachel, Haydon Sun Charm and Haydon Legacy have the distinctive Haydon brand and are direct descendants of Tester (the sire of Midnight, Polo, Fred and hundreds of other remounts) and were born on the same station Midnight and Polo were. Our mares Magic, Dark Eyes, and Miss Muffet also trace their pedigrees back to Tester.

Haydon Sun Charm an impeccable troop horse especially good at tent pegging
Haydon Rachel (who won campdrafts, pony club events and played polo before retiring as a broodmare)

Haydon Legacy as a yearling - now used as one of our stud stallions

Lt. Guy Haydon on Midnight 1917
The black stallion Tester by The Tester (imp) established himself as one of the leading early sires. Bridle spurts where popular in those days and Tester was unbeaten at the quarter mile. He sired 440 foals between 1888 and 1904, having a big impact on the Stud. Many were sold as remounts for the Indian Cavalry. Others were taken with the Australian Light Horse to the Middle East in World War 1, including Midnight who represented Australia versus the British Cavalry in Cairo. Polo and Hughie were both ridden throughout the entire campaign, a rare feat. (photo and information supplied by Peter Haydon)


Jack and Gibbergunyah - Thornthwaite Station

Thornthwaite Station was purchased by Finlay family in 1870. In about 1900, G. M. M. Finlay purchased from Jack Palmer a horse, which came to be known as "Jack", by Charge, who was by Carbine. Jack sired many horses sold to India and sent overseas with the Light Horse in WWI.

In 1924, Bogle and Archie Finlay purchased a 2 year old Australian thoroughbred horse called Gibbergunyah (1922-1946) by Lingle, who was used over the Jack mares and was to go on and sire some of the best polo ponies and campdraft horses seen in this country. In addition, Gibbergunyah sired many horses that were sent to India as remounts or polo ponies and his progeny were also purchased by the Australian Defence Department as late as 1942.

(information sourced from the Finlay family and direct from their stud records listing every horse bred since 1908 which includes sale details)

Gibbergunyah has had a big influence on the ASHS with thousands of horses tracing back to this sire. We are fortunate to have Thornthwaite Splish as one of our broodmares bred on the same station, which still uses the same breeding, branding, and breaking techniques as in the past.

Our stallions Indee Topic and Chandlers Warrego, and mares Vita, Comma, Sun Charm and Cleo also go back to Gibbergunyah and Jack.


Charge, son of Carbine
(photo from "Horses in the Hunter"
Judy White Severn Press Sydney 2005)
Indee Topic
Thornthwaite Herd at Thornthwaite Station, Hunter Valley NSW. 


Bruce (1900), was by the Australian Thoroughbred Moorefield (1889), out of the pony Little Nell. Little Nell pulled a butchers cart in Sydney during the week and raced in pony races on the weekend and was known for her speed and stamina. Bruce himself at 14 ½” hands had an outstanding record as a pony racer, carrying up to 14 stone 2 pounds (89.8 kg) over 4 furlong and eclipsing the race record! His progeny were greatly sought after and were sent overseas as remounts and polo ponies.

“Versatile and athletic, his progeny found their forte on the Indian polo fields and remount depots, country show hunting events and most especially in the cattle camp and on the Bush race track where they were very much at home.”
(Horse Manure on the Brain Makim-Willing, Gene  p. 67).

Bobby Bruce is the most well known son of Bruce and many of our horses carry this bloodline – mares Vita, Cleo, Starlight, Magic, Dana, Satin, Sheba, Sun Charm and Comma as well as our stallions Indee Topic and Chandlers Warrego - Egans Til Buster is not without Bruce bloodlines as he goes back to Mr Bruce; Cool Bruce and My Bruce are also represented in our horses.