Running of the Brumbies

Running of the brumbies

What a pretty place.

Mt Mulligan was very pictures and beyond that escarpment was were the horses lived. The challenge was to try and get them down from up there.

We had a great early start, it was a perfect day, a cool crisp morning to get the Brumbies started about 20km back from the yards right up on to of the water shed on Mt Mulligan. Bungee and I took a short cut where the lay of the land favoured us…well so I thought.

For the first two hours the Brumbies were traveling so well and I thought that we would have be done by smoko time. Boy was I wrong!

We had about 5 to 6 mobs of horse traveling together and all heading in the right direction when we got to the edge where we had to try and bring them down the ridge lines and that’s where it started to go a little pear shaped. When our main mob of about 30 horses started to turn and go the wrong way. I called in Jack another pilot to come give us a hand. They were splitting and splitting bad it was only a matter of time when we would have to start cutting our losses and stick with the one’s that were traveling.

Bungee and came in hard on the main mob that had turned around wile Jack was looking after the rest, the further back they got the harder it was getting. The timber was thick the wind was getting up and the horses were getting hot.

We were loosing them.

They then turn again and headed straight to the top of the highest ridge line where they had know where to go once they hit the top.

Bungee left me with it and headed back to give Jack a hand.

It was amazing to see how much determination heart and spirit these horses had, and the endurance that they had was phenomenal. This is what it was all about the hardy Australian Brumby that never gives up, these were the ancestors of the great whaler that saved so many Australian and New Zealand solders in the war. They had a big heart and amazing spirit.

I let them settle for a bit and then turned their heads and brought them down the ridge into the main creek line. By this time Bungee and Jack had already got a good mob into the yards and were on their way back out to pick up some more.

As I got closer to the wings that lead out from the yards I could see the Buck trying to bend his mob away from the danger ahead, it was like he had a sixth sense of what was about to happen. I called Bung back to give me a hand.

The helicopter becomes a extension of you, every thing is happening so fast your awareness and concentration is at is highest level at this point you can’t make any mistake, you have another chopper only feet away still traveling at high speeds, up and down around, backing each other up missing trees by only inches occasionally the blade will lick a leaf of the tree. Your flying has to be precise.

And wile all that is going on you still have to make sure that you are in the right spot applying the right amount of pressure to get these amazing brumbies into the yard.

We did it, the horses are in the yards and we are starting to get a good mob together but it wasn’t over yet.

Bungee and Clancy

Bungee and Clancy

having a chat about what way they should put the yards and run the horses. Its good to see that even though Bungee is one of the best pilots in Australia he still likes to get on the ground and put in the hard yards with Clancy and his crew. This is what makes a pilot become an exceptional pilot when he knows exactly what is going on on the ground, because he’s been there and worked it.

Good on ya Bungee always a pleasure to work with you.

Bungee also taught me a thing or two when I was a junior pilot on how to get wild cattle out of some of the thickest jungle country.

Clancy being one of the best cattlemen/horsemen along with his wife Melisa of course that I have ever come across, you couldn’t get a better team for knowing the bush and the animals that are in it.


This was the working office for the film crew to down load all there footage and sort there cameras out at the end of the day.

It was great to see how everyone could adapt to the environment that we were in. On a few occasions we even had a few snakes come into camp and pull up around the equipment, Which was quiet entertaining at times to here a yell or hollow from the other side of camp.

One black headed python that we found near the yards Jamie one of our camera was shit scared of snacks and was over coming his fear of snakes.

With me trying to operate the camera don’t think the boys were to impressed with the footage that I captured, I best stick to the wildlife.

Lorie (our sound man) in the background taking picks of the operator and snake man.


Our creative producer looking like a wild west cowboy getting in on the action of a deadly Brown snake that we found in the feed shed.

Ash Jack and Jamie

Ash, Jack and Jamie

The chopper boys about to head out for the morning to film the main chase of the brumbies.

We had to end up calling in Jack to help out with the muster, Bungee and hand our hands full and were starting to get our asses kick and rely needed a had to get a few mobs turned around.

I think he gave the boys a great ride that they wont forget in a hurry as the film chopper turn into a mustering machine and got down and backed us up.

Good Flying Jack kept everyone safe and got the job done.


Producer (Jeff Sibrrey) again in front of the camera get a little hands on with a large Black headed Python with Ash Jamie and Lorie doing what they do best, Making a show.


The young apprentice Jeff Oconner going up for a look around Mt Mullingan and start a little mustering training, He’s a great steady handed pilot but still needs more time on the ground to learn how the operation works down there.

And again Jeff the producer is in front of the camera (he loves it).