The Intrepid Cope’s Jun 2010

Some may remember Tim Cope, the Australian Adventurer who spent some time at Bogong before departing for Mongolia, to follow the trail of Genghis Khan. Tim overcame many challenges to complete his three year journey across Euro-Asia. Tim is home safe and sound with his new dog, Tigon. Tigon accompanied Tim some 10,000 km from Mongolia to Hungry. Tim’s documentary is about to air on ABC 2 at 8 p.m. on the 28th of July.
Meanwhile Tim’s Brother Cam Cope has been embarking on his own adventures, dividing his time between New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Australia. Cam has been developing his career as a photo journalist, sailing the Queensland coast, trekking the villages of New Caledonia and recently, riding the Bogongs with us.
Cam has delighted us with his ability to capture the essence of Bogong Horseback Adventures and portray’s the incredible landscape and our traditional packhorse adventures with a modern flair. Bogong Horseback is proud to support Cam and Tim in their future adventures, where ever they may lead. Check out the Bogong Horseback gallery on Cam’s website.

Brumbies Jun 2010

In Autumn this year there are some new faces about the traps at BHA. National Parks have started a management program to reduce the numbers of the iconic Bogong Brumbies. The herds that live near Mt Jim on Young’s Tops have been wandering in and out of a ‘Salting – trap yard’ all summer. With the winter fast approaching, the ‘passive’ trap was set.
Without knowing the quantity or quality of the horses to come, BHA agreed to partner National Parks and the Victorian Brumby Association by offering our well established horse facilities as a transfer point between National Parks and the Sanctuary. The first truck down the hill bought three stunning black Brumbies. Two mares in foal and one at foot. Three horses in perfect condition calm and curious.
Within the first day our friend ‘Fletch’ (John Fletcher, who came over for the season from Tasmania) had touched them all over with his ‘friendly stick’ (a long cane used as an extension of your arm) handled their feet and gained their confidence and respect for humans. Fletch had never handled wild horses before and clearly loved the experience. John is a fantastic horseman, his patience, commitment and horsemanship skills have produced fantastic results and our 4 brumbies have joined the team at B.H.A and settled in beautifully – Thanks Fletch!
As the winter sun continues to shine and the snow season approaches, the window of opportunity for catching more brumbies is decreasing, but so far National Parks have caught about 25 horses. The method of salt trapping the Brumbies is a very humane way of catching the wild horses, as opposed mustering them by helicopters or humans chasing them on horseback. This method goes hand in hand with the Natural Horsemanship techniques we use here at B.H.A.
Colleen O’Brien from the Victorian Brumby Association has impressed us with her ability to handle and float load wild horses with a minimum fuss using a ‘gentling of the Brumbies’ that has proven just how well this method of handling horses works!
B.H.A is pleased to assist the Brumby Association and Parks Victoria in this important management program to reduce the numbers of brumbies in the High Country, keeping the population of our much loved brumbies to a sustainable number.

Moroka Jun 2010

It was 1978 and Kath and I were a young couple, living in Gippsland. Kath had introduced me to horses and we would saddle up most weekends and ride off into the Tonimbuk bush looking for new tracks and ridges to explore, new challenges for us and our horses. Looking back perhaps I pushed the adventure a bit far, often getting back to our farm house in the dark after misjudging the miles to the next ridge or getting the horses bogged in some tea-tree swamp looking for a shortcut. But the distant blue ridges on the horizon started to look closer and I wondered about getting a bit further afield.
My sister Tracey had been for a ride into the Gippsland High Country with the Hodge family at Valencia Creek, so Kath and I, along with old mate Jed decided to give it a crack. The next January we were up at Clive and Marion’s homestead, saddling up our grey horses for the ride up onto Mt Wellington, down Riggalls Spur into Lake Tali Karng with camps at Millar’s Hut and the beautiful setting of Moroka Hut. We were enchanted by the mountains and our life’s journey was set.
We joined Clive for some truly memorable rides of discovery of what the High Country offered adventurous horseriders, from Wulgulmerang and Black Mountain to The Cobberas, Cowombat Flat and Thredbo, from Dargo to the Blue Rag and on to the Wonnangatta, and a ride we did ourselves from Tonimbuk to Baw Baw and on to Mount Wellington to Moroka. My introduction to packhorses came when I joined Clive on a re-enactment of the “gold train” that packed gold from the old bank vault at Wallhalla to Rosedale as part of Victoria’s sesquicentennial celebrations. After a few beers at Briagalong we had to catch up with a long night trotting along in the dark on the quartz back roads with sparks flying off the horses shoes and a lively banter with Clive and his mates Tiger Ripper and Archie Timms.
And so in time Kath and I settled in the North East High Country, just a few blue ridges from Gippsland and after 25 years of adventures with horses in the mountains we are proud to continue the traditions of generations of the High Country horse and the people who ride them. Looking out into the paddock now I see a young horse testing his agility, his strength and movement that is the gift of all horses. He was foaled in the spring of 2009, he was named Moroka, to honor those traditions and Clive Hodge who died late last year.
We will never forget Clive and Marion’s country hospitality, and recognise those adventures were instrumental in developing our passion for horses, pride in our heritage, and have contributed to our love for the high country.
The spirit and traditional values of past generations continue to inspire our family today.

Season 2010-2011 Jun 2010

The season of 2010 -2011 brings some exciting new rides.
The New Year’s Eve ride leaves from the stables and winds its way into the West Kiewa for the first nights camp on the banks of the West Kiewa river. New Year’s Eve will be spent in the stunning Swindlers Creek hidden in a snow gum filled valley. It was spared from the fires in 2003 and 2006, and is one of our favorite camps. After a sleep-in we will climb Paling Spur to Young’s Tops – home of the Brumbies – where we will set up camp at Young’s Hut. On the final day we head out to find the Brumbies and enjoy a canter across the high plains through Pretty valley. Then on through the Grey Hills to unsaddle and leave the horses at our yards at Falls creek.
The new 3 day ride, leaving from Falls Creek, will bring the horses home to Spring Spur Stables, riding through Grey Hills, Pretty Valley, Young’s Tops and Mount Fainter.
We will be running a couple of Special Day Rides on the 4th and 5th of January from our yards at Falls Creek to explore the local huts. These rides will include lunch. Send us an e-mail for details and prices.
The popular Mount Bogong and Mount Fainter 5 day pack trips are regularly scheduled throughout the season. The special 7 day pack trip explores new country south of the Bogongs and includes camping at the beautiful Faithful’s hut.
Natural horsemanship clinic’s with Wayne Banney – these trips include an opportunity for you to bring your own horse and are a fantastic adventure. The ‘on the track clinic’ is a proven way to get your horse out of it’s comfort zone and test their ability and endurance. Past experience is testament to the success of these clinic’s when horses and riders come home with a renewed confidence, astounded at what their horses achieved traveling through the mountains of the Bogongs! Jump online to see the dates.
Special offers! The new year brings new prices, however, if you book and pay a deposit before the end of June the old prices will apply!

The Late Great Adam Stewart Dec 2009

A tribute by Kath Baird
I first met Adam when he walked out to my place to ask if he could help with the horses. He was just a kid, around 14 years old. He knew everything about horses, of course! He was pretty wild, had a HOT seat and stirred up every horse he ever rode! Just the other week we were laughing about old times and I scorned him, as to just how many of my horses he and all the ‘saved teenagers’ at our place, had galloped into the ground. Some of my prized horses were never the same, those kids drove me CRAZY!
My mum Eleanor, was running a trail riding business on our family property in West Gippsland, Tonimbuk. She always need a hand after losing my dad, so I suggested Adam could work for her. It was the beginning of a long loyal friendship between them. They looked after one another for many years. I will always be grateful to Adam for his care of my beautiful Mum.
Adam went from jeans to jodhpurs, from riding horses like the wind, to educating them the discipline of dressage with his kind soft hands, and his HOT seat! Adam was fearless, a great story teller, funny, kind, complicated, loyal, and delightfully eccentric.
We will miss you Adam, when we ride the High Country with horse tail clouds above us, we know your riding with us.
We will remember you.

Barter for the Willing Dec 2009

BHA have been planning to build a riders lounge and accommodation buildings here on the property. Steve, Kath Lin and Clay have finalised plans and have been patiently awaiting council approval. We have had many positive comments about the proposed plans and are eager to get building.
So we are calling upon skilled tradespeople interested in bartering a trip on the High Plains for work on our project. Please get in touch to discuss the possibilities.

No Place Like Home Dec 2009

By Clay Baird
Over the last 10 years I have been riding horses in California, partying in Spain, dancing in South America, stranded by a hurricane in Mexico, climbing ancient temples in Peru and most recently riding a bicycle across Cuba. People tell me how fortunate I am to lead such an adventurous life abroad, during my travels people are amazed by what I do at home in Australia! “What an amazing life you have, to ride horses in the Australian mountains!”. People I have met in my travels are always curious about my life back home, my back yard! The beauty of the Alpine National Park, the stories of the brumbies cantering across the High Plains, the extraordinary kangaroo, and the fact that we eat them! People I speak to around the world relish the descriptions I give of Bogong Horseback and the adventures we offer.
On my return journey from Cuba this year, the air in Melbourne had a sweetness about it. As I progressed closer to the Kiewa Valley the smell grew stronger, it was the smell of good rain and green grass, with the sun setting on the Bogong High Plains, it brought a tear to my eye. I thought of all the people I have met on my journeys who may never see this incredible place. My sadness was overcome by knowing that I will spend the rest of this summer and many summers to come in these very mountains, with wonderful people sharing all that the Bogong High Plains has to offer.
So to all the Bogong dreamers out there, I look forward to taking you on an adventure through my favorite place on earth.

2009 Victorian Tourism Award Winner Dec 2009

Last month Bogong Horseback Adventures won the 2009 Victorian Tourism Awards in the Adventure Tour Operator category, sponsored by Parks Victoria. We were joined by some good friends at the gala dinner, the cheer when we won was a testament to a fantastic evening.

Horseman Wayne Banney is due in the next couple of days ready to join the first pack trip this Monday 14th December. The horses are looking great after a rainy spring, everything is green and growing. Our farrier Bob is booked to get the mob shod and we have an eclectic crowd of staff ready to tie a swag on their nag and get up the bush. Interested in joining one our tours this year?

January is still available! Perfect time of year to ride over the High Plains, sipping a cuppa billy tea at lunch amongst the wild flowers and snow grass, get into camp with plenty of light and warmth in the day to jump in the creek for a swim! So pack your bags, throw in your togs and riding boots, and come join us in the beautiful High Country.

We Plan Alpine Jul 2009

As part of the review of the Alpine Management plan, our riders can offer feedback through this site We Plan Alpine. Within this site is a link to a map where individuals can nominate special places, areas of significance or concern this is an important document to register your support of continued horse access in the future. The survey will close soon so if you are interested please take a look now, please note: The ‘access code’ input script is a little tedious, be persistent and you will get through.

Surf to Saddle Jul 2009

Sean McAnulty met Clay at film school in Melbourne a few years ago and have been great mates ever since. Sean, a keen surfer and surf film maker came up to the High Country last season to join B.H.A. and learn the horse riding skills he would need when embarking their planned adventure. Sean and Clay are filming their first pilot of ‘Socks Jocks and Twenty Bucks’ so their bags are packed and their wallets a little on the lean side but their enthusiasm is infectious. First stop Rock Creek Pack Station to join Packing School and film their adventures with the team of talented packers and crew in the High Sierras then off to South America – Ecuador and Cuba -you can follow their adventures on Clay’s blog.