The brumbies’ fight for survival

Depending on your point of view, brumbies are either beautiful Aussie icons or destructive feral pests.

The buckskin colt was still wild. He had been captured, but no one had been able to get near him. Six years old, he was a big, stout horse. Until a few days ago he had never seen a human being.

Annie Dixon was dying of a brain tumour. One of the former midwife’s last wishes was to pat a wild horse. As she sat on a stool in the paddock, the colt walked up to her. She put her hands on his cheeks and patted his face. In the days that followed, he would come and stand quietly with Dixon, 59, for hours every day.

“He sensed something,” says Megan Hyde, manager of northern NSW’s New England Brumby Sanctuary. The ailing woman and the captured horse found comfort and empathy in each other.

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