Thursday, 10 April 2014

Heavy horses - Dubbo

Looking through sheds for a stock saddle with decent knee pads, I came across my great-grandfather, Howard Edmonstone.  A collection of leather and iron, in a corner out of the way, serves as his shrine.

I have a couple of pictures of him.  He stands proud with his family, horses and cars.  The one that holds my eye is his team loaded with wheat from “Kookaburra Station” crossing the Macquarie River.  The crossing is now the Rotary Park boat ramp at Dubbo, in central New South Wales.   

Howard Edmonstone's team, mounted right in water, lead horse "Noddy" ~1904

The photo is a little indistinct – but you may be able to make out the white lead horse.  The horse was called “Noddy”.  Noddy was used as a study by George Lambert when a young stock man at Warren and the sketches were later used in his famous 1899 painting “Across the black soil plains”.

Howard Edmonstone was born on the Victorian goldfields at Creswick in 1855, the year after the Eureka Stockade. The young family did not get off to a good start.  His father, a doctor, was charged that year with using obscene language in a public street and fined  £10.  

At the age of 11 he left home to become a butchers boy (and escape a heavy drinking father).  He later acquired his own bullock team carting supplies and wool in the Riverina.  He selected land near Dubbo in 1890, Willow Bellah and, later, Kookaburra Station.  He died 8 January 1952 at Dubbo. 

Old tack

Peter Quinton
Palerang  April 2014

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