Prepared from information supplied by the Australian Stock Horse Society
The Australian Stock Horse is the 'breed for every need': a working and performance animal renowned for its toughness, intelligence, endurance, speed, agility and strength.
The breed is popular for general riding, stock work and competition. Australian Stock Horses have achieved success in many disciplines, including campdrafting, polo, polocrosse, showjumping, dressage, eventing, pony club, endurance, showing, team yarding, tentpegging and stockman's challenges.
Developed through generations of selective breeding since the arrival of horses on the First Fleet, the Australian horse became known as a handsome type with a good temperament. The use of Thoroughbred stallions over mares of mixed origin produced an animal ideally suited to Australian conditions.
Explorers, stockmen, settlers, bushrangers and troopers all relied on horses that could travel long distances, day after day. Exploits of these bush pioneers and their horses became Australian folklore. Several hundred thousand Australian horses were sent to the Indian Mutiny, the Boer War and the First World War and received international recognition through the success of the Australian Light Horse regiments.
In 1971 a small group of horsemen decided the bloodlines of these great Australian horses should not be lost. They formed the Australian Stock Horse Society to ensure future generations would be recognised and officially recorded.
A procedure to register horses was established and horses were inspected and classified according to conformation, type, breeding and ability. From its base in Scone, New South Wales, the Australian Stock Horse Society spread rapidly to all states and territories in Australia.
Today the studbook is limited to horses with registered Australian Stock Horse ancestors. The Australian Stock Horse Society is Australia's largest equine recreational and pleasure association, with a membership of more than 9500 individuals, several international branches and in excess of 180,000 registered horses in the studbook.