Long-haul traveller goes to bat for Aussie brumbies
IMAGINE trekking 5330km from Melbourne to Cooktown with only wild horses to keep you company.
Alienor le Gouvello is doing just that to raise awareness for sustainable management of brumbies in Australia.
“I’ve dedicated my ride to raising the profile of brumbies and proving to people they’re worth utilising and managing properly,” she said.
Ms le Gouvello’s horses are from Guy Fawkes National Park in NSW, where rangers caught them and she trained them with help from Guy Fawkes Heritage Horse Association.
“All three are wild horses, I’ve been on the road with them for 13 months and they’ve never put one foot wrong,” she said.
“It was a big challenge to train them, I never worked with wild horses before.
“It’s an amazing experience once you win a brumby’s trust, I have a beautiful bond with them, they’re like my family now.”
Trekking through more than 5000km with only what a horse can carry is quite a feat.
“We’ve had our challenges. I plan ahead, I have to know my navigation and maps and there’s a lot of logistics involved,” said Ms le Gouvello.
Wild horses in large numbers pose a threat to ecosystems and natural habitats, including parts of the Douglas and areas west and north.
Methods of control include shooting by professionals and sending them to abattoirs.
“I don’t believe in saving every brumby out there, in some places the populations are too large and it’s just not doable,” said Ms le Gouvello.
“I believe in good methods of managing them and taking on the responsibility of looking after them, they’re an important part of Australian history.”
Ms le Gouvello said she had received plenty of help from strangers along the way.
“Peter the caretaker here at the Mossman Showgrounds has been an absolute star, he’s shown us around and looked after us,” she said.
Ms le Gouvello is expecting to make it to Cooktown next Thursday.
Alienor le Gouvello with her domesticated brumbies Cooper and River.