Long-haul trav­eller goes to bat for Aussie brumbies

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Gizelle Ghidella

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.

Pic­ture: GIZELLE GHIDELLA

Alienor le Gou­vello with her do­mes­ti­cated brumbies Cooper and River.

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