The McDowells Australian Brumby Challenge

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The Challenge

The hugely popular Australian Brumby Challenge will be returning to EQUITANA in 2018 and will be welcoming a brand new naming rights partner in McDowells Herbal Treatment. The event will also be supporting Dolly’s Dream Foundation in the development of a Youth Award in memory of Dolly Everett.

Your opportunity to own one of the beautiful Brumbies from the challenge is here! - Auction registrations are now LIVE, click here to register! 

The McDowells Australian Brumby Challenge was developed by the Victorian Brumby Association and launched at EQUITANA Melbourne in 2016. The Challenge follows the journey of 20 trainers as they transform untamed brumbies passively captured from Victoria’s high country, from wild to willing in 150 days. The Final is held across four days of EQUITANA, with trainers showcasing the transformation of their Brumby in front of the crowd and an expert panel of judges.

McDowells Herbal Treatments
victorian brumby association

There are two categories of the Challenge – Ridden and Youth. In the Ridden Challenge, brumbies aged four and older are saddle trained. In the Youth Challenge, yearling aged brumbies are trained and presented in hand only, not to be started under saddle or sat on.

In 2018, the Youth Challenge will be age restricted and only open to trainers aged from ten to 17 years.

The competition is proud to be aligning with Dolly’s Dream Charity, and the Youth Yearling Award will be presented to the winner. Dolly’s Dream Foundation was launched in early 2018 as a result of the passing of bullying victim, 14-year-old Dolly Everett. The foundation aims to facilitate positive change in young lives and to provide support to charity groups in the fundraising and promotion of anti-bullying campaigns in school aged youth.

The Challenge is proud to be welcoming “McDowells Herbal Treatments” as the official naming rights partner in 2018. McDowells are specialists in natural heath treatments and will be supporting all brumbies involved in the Challenge through a generous supplement program across the 150 days.

The finale of the McDowells Australian Brumby Challenge will be held at EQUITANA Melbourne 2018. Over the four days of the event, you can come along, meet the brumbies and their trainers and watch as the Brumbies are taken through their paces in several classes which are designed to showcase their trainer’s ability and the trainability and versatility of our Australian Brumbies.

Of special interest is the Freestyle class, held to music, where the trainer has free choice of how to present the brumby they have trained – Western to English, Knights in Armour to Rockstars, this is a really fun class where you can see each brumby’s special talents!

Our Champions for 2018 will be announced after the Freestyle class and all brumbies will then be auctioned to approved and registered bidders on the final day of EQUITANA.This is your chance to learn about, and maybe even take home, a special part of our Australian Heritage!


Think Fencing Arena - Thursday 3:45pm
McDowells Australian Brumby Challenge Round 1

Think Fencing Arena - Friday 12:30pm
McDowells Australian Brumby Challenge Round 2

Think Fencing Arena - Saturday 9:30am
McDowells Australian Brumby Challenge Round 3

Think Fencing Arena - Sunday 9:30am
McDowells Australian Brumby Challenge Final

Think Fencing Arena - Sunday 2:45pm
McDowells Australian Brumby Challenge - Auction

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