Thursday, May 7, 2020

Spirited Australia's Horse Story

Australia's Horse Story

there's a saying that to Ryder horses to borrow freedom and when human beings look at horses they see speed they see grace strength agility we decided to do an exhibition about horses called spirited Australia's horse story because we felt the time had come to honor the contribution that horses had made to Australian life at the heart of spirited Australia's horse story is the idea of the bonds that have formed between horses and people in Australia for centuries Australians have loved horses and have worked with horses and together we've done things that we could never have done alone horses took us to war they've helped us muster sheep they've helped us move around that they've helped us deliver our goods they've helped us have fun and we felt the time had come to tell the story of Australia from a horse's point of view Jackson he's a toy racehorse Jackson has an amazing story many Australians will know the virtual races they're an iconic race central Queensland thousands of people go there every year in 2007 equine influenza meant the races had to be cancelled the locals had thousands of people there wanting a race so they needed to come up with something and the answer was toy horse racing Jackson was pulled along the road in front of the pub as someone round a piece of string around a beer can the harness is an incredibly rare piece of horse tack he was ordered

 by the faithful family of Springfield station in Goulburn which is in New South Wales in 1889 if you look really closely at the house you can see that it's got the faithful family crest on it and you can imagine the residence of Goulburn as they saw the land air going past with the silver family crest glinting in the Sun few people would imagine that horse-drawn milk delivery was still happening in the streets of Essendon in suburban Melbourne as late as 1987 one of our curators was trawling through eBay looking for other horse related material and there it was this beautiful milk wagon it had been taken apart by an enthusiastic restorer it came back to the museum's conservation lab and our conservation team had worked painstakingly to pull it back together what's really special about the 1866 Melbourne compass it's the oldest intact Melbourne Cup it was won by a racehorse called the Bob who was also known as the black demon it's an amazing piece of silversmithing so intricate and beautiful and it just tells you something about how important the Melbourne Cup was even within the first few years that it was run everyone in Australia has a horse story whether it's your story maybe there's a horse you've loved who's been your companion and your friend or maybe it's a story that your mother told you or your brand dad told you horses have touched every person in Australia and they've made Australia what it is today and it's my hope that this exhibition will help people understand that and appreciate the horses contribution to who we are today

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