On the 12-day ride in February 1998 the brumbies of the Kosciusko mountains stole our prize quarter horse mare, Eve. After hours of searching we had to give up and continue the ride without her. On the 12-day rides we always have spare horses so Judith, who started out on Eve, didn’t have to walk. We were terribly worried about Eve and,. with such a busy summer schedule, found it hard to know when we could go searching.
The bush telegraph worked particularly well and word was out that we were offering a reward. A bloke from Dederang, Ian Gibson, who rides regularly and knew the country over there pretty well, paid us a visit and told us he was heading into the upper Murray area and would keep an eye out for Eve.
That was the last we heard for quite a few weeks. One Sunday night, 10 o’clock, the whir of a Toyota awakened us. With dogs barking we staggered out to see a float arrive at the stables. To our amazement, it was Ian Gibson with Eve on board. We were so excited.
Ian warned us that she was in poor condition but I don’t think anything prepared me for just how bad she was. A skeleton was led slowly into the stables but we did detect a weary but grateful glint in her eye. When Ian found her she was alone and starving as the drought was very severe in that region. We assume the brumbies life-style was very romantic at first but a wild herd of horses is a far cry from the herd at Bogong Horseback Adventures! And our guess is that the alpha mares (the dominant mares) didn’t like this well-heeled hussy flirting with their stallions!
After seven weeks lost it was amazing that she survived and, as Ian said, she has a big heart as she was so poor when he found her that he had to pack horse feed into her for three days before she was strong enough to walk out.
By June, she was fit enough to go with the rest of the gang to the holiday resort in NSW where she is recovering by leaps and bounds.