In the year 2018 I was excited to hear that the Brumbies in Kosciusko were finally safe and protected by a Heritage Brumby Act- my heart swelled that finally the Brumbies would no longer be sent to slaughter. I have always had a passion for brumbies from watching The Man from Snowy River at least 1000 times- every year I would go to Kozi searching for them in the wild- still till this day I have not seen them.

Flash forward to May 2020. I was devastated to hear that the Brumbies in Victoria were at risk of death through shooting. The thoughts that shooters were going to head into the bush and shoot innocent family mobs of brumbies angered me- I experienced all kinds of emotions and wondered how the world had come to this, that innocent animals living their lives in a place where they had made their home was disgusting to me, that these very Brumbies that had built our nation and being released in the environment, existing for over 150 years were now going to be slaughtered at the hand of man.

Facebook groups erupted everywhere, groups that I had not heard of. Brumbies lovers were becoming a voice, speaking out against this vile act and I was not alone in my thoughts of anger.

How could I be their voice? How could I be different to the usual posts? I needed to be heard and let the world know what it was like to be in the minds of these very horses. I went to sleep each night and my mind would race.

I started putting words together to make sense of how the Brumbies were feeling, this happened night after night, I could not sleep, I just kept imagining the terror and fear these Brumbies would endure when faced with a man dressed in black and a gun aimed at their heads.

One night I jumped up and began to write the words that were keeping me awake and so my way of helping spread the plight of brumbies began. Almost twenty poems later, the printing of three calendars, three children’s books and the collaboration of a very special Brumby Verses Book with Dave Wain have been born.

A very big part of my inspiration has been from what I have read, all the information out there, it has been a journey of discovery and the most impactful thing has been Michelle and Ian Brown’s amazing photography of Brumbies living their lives in our environment- adapting along with the natives to the harsh conditions of the Australian climate.

Michelle’s photographs have been a big focal point in all the products we have created. We are so proud of our products and their main aim is to spread the plight of the Australian Brumbies to the world through words and images.

It all started with my first poem. I feel I have come a long way since this one but it was the beginning of my story and how I started speaking for Brumbies. I advocate for these precious souls that deserve respect and whose lives are just as important as the person you are. We all have a voice and we must speak for these voiceless animals - speak loud and let others know we need to stop destroying the lives of innocent animals for the benefit of greedy humans.

Hear Me Listen to the wind at night, It’s there, you’ll hear the call. Listen oh so carefully, You’re not imagining it at all. That’s the sound of murder, Of families torn apart. That’s the Brumbies asking why?

We’ve been with you from the start. We came with you on ships to help, Over lands and seas. We helped you build your nation strong, We did everything to please. We stood by your side when war did come.

You made many leave our home. And though many of us perished at your side, The rest of us thrive in a land we call our own. We found a perfect spot to live.

We roamed the Mountains and were free. We dealt with the harshness of heat and snow. And best of all let be.

When man did come with guns aimed high, We were injured, killed and maimed. Those lucky few were captured, To live with man again.

Listen to the wind at night, The call is oh so faint. It’s the silent screams of innocence, A history between man and horse that man did ultimately taint.

Copyright Mandy Fanelli