Saturday, 1 July 2017

Historic horse-drawn delivery to Mt Buller today

 Photo: Andrew Railton| Mt Buller
Four beautiful Clydesdale horses, Murphy, Parker, Al and Andy made a special delivery to Mt Buller yesterday. Clip-clopping their way into history the team were the first Carlton Draft Clydesdales to make a delivery to a ski resort in Australia and they even had a dusting of snow for their arrival. They made a journey up the winding road into the alpine village centre where happy locals and guests welcomed them with carrots and cuddles.

Murphy is the most senior horse in the line-up at 16 years old with 13 years’ experience, and Parker at just 5 years old only joined last year.

The famous horses travel the country and are a popular sight with their shining harnesses to deliver beer where they go. The tradition of the Carlton Draft Clydesdales making beer deliveries in Australia began back in the 1860’s and was only replaced by motorised vans after World War II. Mt Buller and the Mansfield region has a long tradition of horsemanship and was the location for the classic ‘Man From Snowy River’ film. With trail riding popular in the area during summer, the community will make the horses especially welcome when they arrive in the village. There is already hopes the horses will pay a return visit in spring.

The horses take part in over 60 events around the country each year but this is a first to visit the snow, “They are a Scottish breed so the cold weather is something they are built for but this is certainly something different for us. It’s very special to bring them up the mountain for this delivery and it’s certainly the highest location we’ve been to” explained Glen Pate the Clydesdale Team Manager.

Hospitality manager at Mt Buller Harry Wellbourne was delighted to receive the rare delivery, “The ABOM Hotel has a rich and colourful tradition but I don’t know if we’ve had our beer arrive on a horse drawn cart before. We look forward to pouring a few well-earned beers on the day.”

It takes 45cms of steel to make each horseshoe for the Clydesdales and they get new shoes every 5-6 weeks. Each horse in the team weighs around 850kg and the team moves at around 5 km/h.

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