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EQUITANA Australia Joins the Fight to Save Waler Horses

EQUITANA Australia is very proud to announce that it is partnering with the Waler Horse Society of Australia, to raise awareness of the plight of the Waler Horses in Central Australia.

The Waler Horse has a prestigious history and stories of their bravery and the numerous times these amazing equines saved their rider’s lives have been documented in many publications; however, now they need our help.

Today Waler Horses run free in Central Australia.  They are rounded up on a regular basis and sent for processing as pet food.  When their plight was brought to the attention of EQUITANA Australia, the team ‘swung into action’ and contacted the Waler Horse Society of Australia with an idea on how we could help.  Elizabeth Jennings from the Society instantly saw how working with EQUITANA Australia could create a lot of awareness and hopefully encourage people to look at the Waler as a potential riding partner.  The EQUITANA team then contacted Mitavite for assistance with the project and they generously came on board as a major Sponsor, ensuring our Walers receive the best nutritional care.

EQUITANA Australia has called this project “The Mitavite Waler Legacy” – Australia’s History…their Future”.

The project sees six wild Walers housed with trainers of very different disciplines for 12 months.  These trainers and their Walers will then come to EQUITANA Sydney in 2013 and showcase just how far they have come in one year.

Finding the horses and getting them out of their wild habitat was not an easy task.  EQUITANA sent Sandi Simons, Elizabeth Jennings from the Waler Horse Society and a film crew to meet Don Childs, the man responsible for capturing and bringing these wild Walers out from the remote cattle stations on which they live.

After choosing the best six types for our purpose, the next problem was how to get them to our Trainers in one piece!  We chose Prestige Transport for the job, as we know they pay high attention to detail and the welfare of the horse during transit.  The Walers were all delivered safely to their assigned trainers, who have informed us that they are very happy with their horses.

The trainers, who were chosen because of their high level of skill in starting young and unhandled horses, are:-

CHRISTY CONNOR from CC’s Equine Training in Taralga New South Wales – is going to train BILL in Trick Riding.

DAVID SIMONS from David Simons Training in Drysdale Victoria – will train GUNNER as a Reining Horse.

ANNIE KESTERTON from Jindivick Victoria – will educate CORONATION to be a Dressage Horse.

DAMIAN JUDD from Moore Creek in New South Wales – has RUPERT to train up as a Show Horse.

MICHELLE O’NEILL from Cherry Tree Equine in Cooma NSW – will train DIGGER as a Barrel Racing horse.

WAYNE ARMSTRONG from Team of Four in Bambra Victoria – will present TROUPER as a Carriage horse.

Why are we telling you about the EQUITANA Waler program 12 months before you’ll see them presented at EQUITANA Sydney 2013?  Because we’d like you to follow their journey by ‘liking’ us on Facebook, signing up for our Newsletter, or just popping on to our website to check the regular  photos and video reports from our fabulous trainers.  You’ll be able to learn more about the Waler and be enthralled at the transformation of our six wild Walers into remarkable and valued working horses.

EQUITANA Australia believes the Waler Horse Legacy to be one of the most significant programs it has brought to visitors to date.  The Mitavite Waler Legacy is a story that will pull at your heartstrings and engage each and every person it touches.



Marwari – War Horse of the Maharaja Documentary – Coming Soon

This Documentary Film featuring the Indigenous Horse of India, is the story of Bonnie, Kr. Raghuvendra Singh Dundlod (Rajasthan, India) and Francesca Kelly (Martha’s Vineyard, USA) and their lifetime mission to raise worldwide awareness of the issues facing the Marwari horses of India.

Frazzica Productions has begun post production of the Marwari horse documentary starring Kr. Raghuvendra Singh Dundlod (Bonnie) and Francesca Kelly. This amazing story centres on the lifetime work of Bonnie and Francesca to address the plight of the Marwari horses in India, and their bid to change antiquated government laws that forbid the export of Marwari horses abroad.

Bonnie and Francesca, who are considered experts on the Marwari Horse and are highly respected for their work, have protected bloodlines and founded The Indigenous Horse Society of India. At their own personal expense, they travel the world raising awareness of the difficulties facing these beautiful animals and attempting to raise funds to help them.

The Marwari horses have faced many challenges and were once, near extinction. However, the challenges they currently face could tip the precarious balance irretrievably. There is an export ban in place and breeders have excess stock, good feed is expensive and hard to find. There are also cruel and inhumane horse training practices, much like the dancing bears, and many other issues ranging from drought to little to no professional veterinary care. There are equine “practitioners” but no vets in the entire state of Rajasthan, which is where the Marwari’s come from. And now, the only equine research center in the state of Rajasthan that provided at least some small help is at risk of closing down.

In this film we take you to the Hanumangarh Horse Fair in the state of Rajasthan where the finest Marwari horse breeders gather to discuss current issues and compete for various honors. Well-trained Marwari horses can fetch in excess of $25,000 USD at these fairs. The horses are taught to dance and they become highly valuable to their owners by performing at wedding ceremonies and prestigious events – often their only income. In war times these moves where taught to avoid elephant strikes and to protect their riders. Unfortunately horses are sometimes trained cruelly instead of the correct way, just to make a quick dollar.

Some of the scenes in this documentary will be disturbing to watch; but all of the trainers, owners, and breeders have one thing in common. They need help. Help in the form of education to show them a better way to treat the horses so they do not die painfully from illness; help in the form of training to show them more humane techniques to teach their horses to dance; and help from the outside world so they can obtain the kinder horse equipment being used by the western world.

Then, in the midst of all the chaos, there is a glimmer of light and gentle compassion, when Bonnie and Francesca introduce filmmakers to Rafik. Francesca refers to Rafik as India’s finest horse trainer and he will leave a lasting impression on you. Rafik is an amazing family man, a kind, gifted horse trainer and a true Godsend for the Marwari horse.

Throughout this remarkable documentary, filmmakers guide the audience through a colorful explosion of senses and emotions. This “no holds barred” story of two dedicated horse advocates who are determined to return the Marwari Horse to its revered place in India’s culture, is visually stunning, definitely confronting, and totally unforgettable.

The Marwari horses recently performed at the Diamond Jubilee Pageant at Windsor castle in front of Her Majesty the Queen of England, on the 13 February 2012. A contingent of over 30 dancers, horsemen and performers were lead by Bonnie and Francesca. Sadly, none of the Marwari horses featured in England where from India.


David and Sandi Simons have been involved in the horse industry for well over 20 years. They are two of Australia’s leading horse and rider educators and conduct regular clinics and symposiums around the country.


‘The Road to Confident Riding’, is a new TV show dedicated to helping riders to gain (or regain) confidence.  Sandi and David will teach you on-ground and ridden training exercises that are guaranteed to help you and your horse enjoy each other again.


The pilot episode follows Sandi as she conducts a typical weekend women’s confidence clinic.  The group begins their clinic with a “round table” session where the student’s horse issues and concerns are discussed before hands-on work begins.  After a day of groundwork, the students spend their second day converting their new skills into ridden exercises – although not all are ready to hop in the saddle yet.  As a special feature, David Simons then takes the more advanced students into riding and training exercises for a softer horse, lightening the contact and competition performance enhancement.


This show is like no other training DVD you have ever seen and is a must see for all horse owners.  You will be touched by the journey of the students; following them from their shaky beginnings through to the joy and excitement of their return to riding.


The pilot was filmed at the stunning racing property, ‘Wingrove Park’, in the Macedon Ranges Shire, Victoria Australia, 2012.


 The Way Of The Horse; A Hit With Overseas Audiences!


EQUITANA Australia and Frazzica Productions, the broadcast production partner for The Way of the Horse – Australian Horsemanship Challenge (TWOTH), are proud to announce that the challenge has now reached overseas audiences, who love it as much as Australian horse fans!   In March this year, TWOTH 2010 was aired by Horse & Country TV, which has an audience of around 250,000 viewers weekly in the UK.  The network also airs in Ireland and Malta and is currently expanding throughout Europe on the Sky Cable Network, giving it an overall reach of almost 12 million potential viewers.


TWOTH reached the number one spot on Horse & Country TV in the first week of July 2012 and the network and producers are delighted with this outcome (results supplied by BARB data in the UK) and are looking forward to airing the 2011 contest in October.


During the TWOTH  3-day challenge, three of Australia’s leading horse trainers demonstrate their highly personal and specialised methods of connecting with an unbroken horse.  In Melbourne this year, the Trainers vying for the title of champion are Paul Clarkson (NT), Ken Falkner (QLD) and Naish Hogan (QLD).  Although from diverse backgrounds and favouring different methods of training, Paul, Ken and Nash have one very important thing in common; they are united in their effort to change the “traditional” mindsets regarding starting and training a young horse, with one that creates a willing and happy riding partnership.


We are very proud of our achievement as the only Australian program on the network and we are looking forward to a long relationship with both EQUITANA Australia and Horse & Country TV.  We have always believed in TWOTH! – Joe Frazzica, Executive Producer, Frazzica Productions.


This is not only great news for the EQUITANA team, which has worked on the development of the contest since 2006, but also for Australian Trainers and the country’s Horse Industry.  This year we are working to expand the airing of TWOTH onto Australian television stations and also into the USA, reaching millions more with the message of caring horsemanship. – Rod Lockwood, Director, EQUITANA Australia.


The Way Of The Horse 2011 Sydney DVD is now available from horserushtv.com




All new Horse Rush TV series 4 returns late 2013!