Our South Australian heritage is intertwined with horses for work, sport, pleasure, travel and war.
The legendary Reginald Murray Williams (RMW), Sir Sidney Kidman, South Australian Police Mounted Operations, Tom Roberts and Olympic medalist Gillian Rolton OAM called SA home, through to modern-day Olympic medalists, Megan Jones and Wendy Schaeffer-Macdonald.
As the colony of South Australia became established, so did the horse-related activities, including the South Australian Mounted Police (1838), Adelaide Hunt Club (1840), The Royal Adelaide Show (1843), The South Australian Jockey Club (1873), The Oakbank Racing Club (1876), The Adelaide Polo Club (1879), The South Australian Trotting Club (1880).
In 1925, a memorial recognising the contribution of the light horse was unveiled on the corner of East and North Terraces. South Australian horse owners went on to establish the Dressage Club of South Australia, (1950), the first of its kind in Australia. In the same year, with the first-ever dressage event held at any agricultural show in the country conducted at the Royal Adelaide Show. Our state is also home to Western Districts Riding Club (1937), the oldest riding club in SA, while Pegasus Pony Club (1953), is the second oldest pony club in Australia.
Adelaide also witnessed the establishment of The Australian Rough Riders Association (1943), now known as the Australian Professional Rodeo Riders Association, and in 1951, the national office for Equestrian Australia, which in 2003 relocated to Sydney, New South Wales.
"Go Forward, Dear"
"Go Forward, Dear"
Horse SA released a book in late 2017 about the life of Tom Roberts. Written by Dr. Andrew McLean and Nicki Stuart, it is both a potted history of equestrianism in early South Australia and an analysis of why the early horseman’s methods and theories have carried through to today.
Tom Roberts "Go forward, dear." A horseman's life and legacy. Purchase Tom Roberts E-book $AUD 9.99 or hard copy via the Horse SA online store
Our Horses Our Community
A small book that celebrates the stories of people within South Australia who have dedicated their lives to our horses. You can download here
Celebration of the Police Horse
This book provides you with an overview of the history of the South Australia mounted police operations unit. You can download here