The Brumby Wars

The Brumby Wars

The battle for the soul of Australia

Anthony Sharwood


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It's not just a war over horses. It's a battle for the soul of Australia.

This is a book about the intense culture war raging around Australia's wild horses, known as brumbies. It pits a vision of the legendary Man from Snowy River and the iconic ANZAC Light Horse against the spectre of ecosystems destroyed by feral pests. The debate involves powerful politicians and media commentators, and stars an animal mythologised in Australian poetry and prose. But in essence, this is about us. The Brumby Wars is about Australians at war with each other over their vision of an ideal Australia.

To ecologists and people who ski, walk and fish in the High Country and other areas where the brumbies proliferate, they are a feral menace which must be removed to save delicate alpine landscapes. To the descendants of cattle families and many Australians in urban and regional areas, brumbies are untouchable, a symbol of wildness and freedom.

Something has to give. But what? The land or the horses? This war is set to escalate dramatically before we have an answer. Featuring interviews with characters from all sides of the debate, The Brumby Wars is the riveting account of a major national issue and the very human passions it inspires. It is also a journey, a quest to understand what makes us tick in our increasingly polarised country.

Praise for Anthony Sharwood's From Snow to Ash
'Makes for inspirational reading' West Australian
'A distinctive, charming narrative ... a thinking, caring man's trek' Canberra Times
'A joyous read with personality in spades ... A book for the adventurer in us all' Australian Geographic


Anthony Sharwood:
Anthony Sharwood is a Walkley Award-winning journalist who has spent the last 10 years as a writer and editor on leading Australian news websites, and has also presented television shows, radio programs and a podcast. In 2020 he released the acclaimed From Snow to Ash, a love letter to the Australian High Country written while walking the Australian Alps Walking Track. The Brumby Wars is his third book.