The forebears of the Australian Stock Horse arrived in Australia on the First Fleet in 1788.
Now considered possibly the world’s most versatile breed, recognised for its versatility and superior performance amongst work, leisure and performance breeds.
The Stock Horse has evolved over time through selective breeding in response to the demands of the environment. The Australian Stock Horse is a product of its environment.
Horses are not native to Australia (the first arrived with the First Fleet) though they have adapted extremely well through natural selection and selective breeding by horsemen.
Originally the Australian Stock Horse was simply a 'type' of horse.
From the days of early settlement right up until the prevalence of motorised transport, the horse was the primary mode of transport and a valuable economic tool.
The horse was essential in opening up the terrain, working the land, and assisting with the spread of settlement.
Today it is still a preferred and the most practical means of undertaking many rural activities including mustering, checking stock and fences and general transport.
Settlers and workers required a horse that was strong, sturdy and confident on its feet and one which could stand up to the harsh and varied Australian climate.
This horse is not one breed but a combination of several different breeds each with attributes which, when passed on, proved beneficial in coping with the Australian bush.
In 1971, a group of dedicated horsemen and women attended the inaugural meeting of the Australian Stock Horse Society in Sydney.
This type of horse, for all its efforts, sacrifices and contribution to the Australian psyche, had not been recognised before this time.
Subsequently, a Stud Book was opened and remained open until 1988.
Since the closure of the Stud Book, only horses that comply with strict regulations have been accepted into the registry.