Kandos and Rylstone History P.13
Animals in the War
Presentation to Kandos High School Year 9 students by Ron Roberts in 2000
From the Cobb & Co Heritage Trail Bathurst to Bourke by Diane de St. Hilaire Simmonds:
Cobb & Co mostly bred their own horses. Many properties were bought for this purpose. Their horses were known as coachers, and were a cross between a trotter and a draught horse, or a trotter and a thoroughbred, later introducing an Arab strain. These horses were wide chested, strong and muscular, tapering towards the hindquarters with slim legs. "With his hard feet, strong bone, stamina, and resistance to dust and heat, the Australian coach horse takes his place alongside the Australian working dog and the Australian working bullock among the great pioneering breeds of the world."
The horses were 14 to 16 hands high. The teams were matched by colour and performance, each driver vying to have the top team. ...
Horses were broken in on the job. They were put straight in a team, and taught by the other horses. ... Horses in the black soil country were often unshod and they had to be tough. On the Winton to Boulia run in Queensland, in the 1880s drought conditions, 30 horses died in the first month on the run. These were extreme conditions, but it shows the stamina coachers needed....
As well as coachers, famous racing horses bred Cobb & Co horses. The original owners of 'Coombing Park', Thomas Icely (before Cobb & Co bought the farm from him) imported the top thoroughbreds in the world to sire a line of famous racing horses. He imported the first thoroughbred mare, 'Manto' by 'Soothsayer' in 1825. The mare foaled 'Cornelia', having been served by 'Grasshopper' before leaving England. 'Cornelia's' line has bred thousands of famous racehorses.
Coombing Park has the original stable for Sir Hercules', the first thoroughbred sire in Australia... 'Sir Hercules', by 'Cap-a-Pie' from 'Paraguay' was sold to New Zealand as a two-year-old. He returned to Australia and was bought by Mr. Tindal of Ramornie, Clarence River. There he sired 'Yattendon', 'Sir Hercules' was sold to Mr. Lee of Leeholm, and sired 'The Barb', 'Barbarion', 'Barbelle' and Sappho'. 'Sappho' was to be one of the great NSW foundation mares. Sir Hercules' skeleton is in the Sydney Museum.
'Comus 11' was also bred at Coombing Park and gained great fame. Ben Hall's gang tried to steal him once, shooting Whitney (of Cobb & Co) groom, German Charlie, through the mouth, but the horse was white and after using him in a hold-up, the bushrangers let him loose again. The groom miraculously survived, and the horse wandered back home...
Rutherford (a Cobb & Co founder) bred his mare, 'Springheed', with his neighbour, Mr. Charlie White's stallion 'Mambrino Derby'. The offspring was called 'Globe Derby'; one of the greatest sires in the standard bred horse lines of trotting today. He established a sireline through his sons, 'Springfield Globe ', 'Robert Derby', 'Walla Walla' and 'Logan Derby'. 'Ribands' came from this line also. 'Globe Derby' was born at the Hereford property, Bathurst in 1910.
'General Grant', a brown trotting stallion, was a favourite of James Rutherford. He bred him with the daughter of 'Sir Hercules', from Coombing Park. Much of Rutherford's breeding came from the 'Patchem' strain, a famous American trotting breed. Rutherford was particularly partial to Kentucky horses, bringing some back from Mr. Herr of Forest Park, Lexington, Kentucky, to breed at Bathurst.
In 1880, Cobb & Co advertised:
'The imported trotting stallion 'Premier' will stand the season at Hereford. The best animal of his kind in Australia, the beau ideal of a carriage horse, secured first prize at the Sydney National Exhibition, etc. Terms five guineas each mare."
...During World War 1, many coachers were sent to the battlefields. They pulled guns, ambulances and supply wagons. After the war, Cobb & Co stopped breeding coachers, and used heavy horses on the pole and saddle horses to lead.
Shortly after WW1 motor cars began to replace horses.
The Walers are all the colours, any colour from grey, white, black, chestnut, bay, even a pinto can come out of the Walers. I'm not too sure of the palominos.
End of interview
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