The brumbies that claimed Thredbo

Remember that wild brumby at Thredbo that broke the Aussie snow internet?

Pic by John Matic

SnowsBest reader and Spooning Australia food blogger Jason King, was in Thredbo that week and saw it too. His mother, Krysia StClair, took this pic below.


“Not sure what my fascination is exactly, they are just so bloody majestic, just stunning” said King when chatting to SnowsBest.

” They are not horses exactly, they are free thinking wild intelligent beings that have as much right as we do to the Snowy Mountains. I only first saw one the other day – I skied past one on the mountain in Thredbo, my mum had seen it the day before when snow shoeing – so I hiked up with Steve, my old school mate and took a few on the iPhone.”

“I then decided to walk to Dead Horse Gap, mum’s snow shoe guide told her a few of them are spotted around there” explains King.

“Walked in rain, mud and wind yesterday along the Riverside Walk to Dead Horse Gap – didn’t need to do the entire thing – found these guys about 4.5km along and just hung out with them. ? This time I used my Sony a6000 with 55-200mm lens. The closest I got was 20ft.

The stallion was a little touchy – when his ears went back and his head raised I took a few steps back and he relaxed and just observed me while his lady friend ate grass. Being patient and soothing and keeping your distance is the best thing to do.”

Jason King isn’t the only one obsessed by the beauty of these wild creatures in Australia’s alpine region. Local, Susie Diver, took these images earlier in the season too.

Love them or loathe them, consider them an environmental hazard or an alpine enhancement you can read more about the NSW prospective culling of these animals here.

Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.


  1. It’s is everything you say, majestic and stunning. They may be causing environmental damage but is it any greater than 400 houses lighting their fires at night over winter or the pollution from all the cars travelling to the KNP ? The brumbies are part of the KNP, they are a sight to see, the number of people that drive to dead horse gap just to catch a glimpse of these animals is testament to that. They should be left alone.

  2. Thanks for posting this up Miss Snow it All, so saddened to be back in Sydney and working. Ewwww. Miss Thredbo, mountain air, schnapps and the brumbies.
    Further to the environmental impact of the brumbies. Yes they might do some damage to the environment but how can we judge this when we make our claims and photographs of their damage while standing on kilometre long walkways we have carved into the environment. Even us skiing and driving to the mountains and lighting lodge fires is millions times worse. Basically – who the hell do we think we are to judge. And the environmental positives of the brumbies surely outweighs – they eat organic mountain grasses then poop it into the ground providing some epic fertiliser.
    Cheers to you!!

  3. Natural Attrition will account for the brumbies old, and injured and sick. There is much more damage by the one million deer and feral pig population who will not think twice about attacking you especially the deer in mating season! Stallions are protective but usually they will just look at you snort and stamp telling you ‘ok buddy.. that’s close enough to my family’.. They don’t eat native animals.. contrary to recent ‘scientific’ *gag* statements that the brumbies are cannibals.. They reduce bushfire fuels, eat thistles and grass.. Their gut destroys the thistle weeds so the claims that they spread this seed is bunkum. Sure you see some serious piles of stallion poop is that any worse than a dog crapping on a footpath stating its territory? horse poo is the best fertilizer out and breaks down within a couple of weeks.. When you ski and have a brumby running through the snow and you see him out of the corner of you eye.. the breath catches in your throat and your heart quickens. Stunning majestic and definitely part of the Snowy Mountains! They belong here like they have for the past 150 years. The park was established in 1967.. so why now are they being considered a pest? We can share this beautiful part of the world.. Plenty to go around.

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