Arabian horses were introduced to Australia in the earliest days of European settlement. They were imported in the ships bringingonvicts and settlers, and many came via India, to upgrade the pool of horses available for everyday use. They were also used in the breeding of racehorses and some of them became quite famous as such. About 1OO Arab sires are included in the Australian Stud Book [for Thoroughbred Racehorses]. They were part of the foundation of several breeds we consider uniquely “Australian” such as the Australian Stud Book Pony, the “Waler” and the Australian Stockhorse.
Purebred Arabian horses were imported from the late 17OO’s but most of their progeny were “lost”, historically speaking, as there were no Purebred mares, and there was no Australian Arab Horse Stud Book in which to record their progeny.
Significant sires such as HADBAN and KARS slipped through the net, with no Purebred progeny recorded, although informally we know that a number existed.
Sir James Penn Boucaut, the Governor of South Australia and a Supreme Court Judge, was one of the first to breed Purebred Arabian horses in a recognized breeding program, though he registered all his young stock in the Stud Book of the British Arab Horse Society. He imported two stallions and four mares in two groups in 1891 and 19O1. The British Arab Horse Society was happy to accept the Colonial horses for registration, and continued to do so from 1919 until at least 196O. Many of the early breeders such as Mr A.J. McDonald of “Tehama Stud” NSW, Mr A.E. Grace of Bowral and Denman NSW, and Mr J.F. Jelbart of “Stony Park East” NSW, used this facility, and so lines of proven Purebred Arabian stock were established.
Most of the colts from these early breeding programs were sold into the country, and all over the country from Melbourne to Darwin and all places in between. In the more populated areas, Agricultural Shows were held, with, in time, classes for Arabian horses, although there was no stipulation that these had to be registered.
Sydney’s Royal Show was first held in 1824 and was named the Parramatta Fair. It moved to Prince Alfred Park near Central Railway Station in 1869, and thence to its Moore Park site in 1881, where it remained until 1997. Results of Arabian classes exist from 1871 when the class for Arab Stallions of any age was won by AMEER a bright bay, 9 years, owned by James White of Martindale, Denman. Second was BOURNON a grey of 21 years, owned by A.A. Dangar of Baroona, Singleton. The first horse was desert-bred, while the second came from the stud of the King of Wurttemberg, Stuttgart, Germany.