Historic Saddle Lost in the Vic High Country

Submitted: Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 12:58
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We have been asked to report this loss, if anyone can assist please contact Graeme Stoney as per the Media Release


Dear Editor, I am hoping this is newsworthy enough to print.

Historic saddle lost in the High Country

Mountain Cattlemen Graeme Stoney from Mansfield, inadvertently left a special saddle, bridle and saddle cloths on the side of the Bluff track below the Bluff Hut, east of Mansfield at about 10.45 am on Good Friday April 2nd, 2010.
The saddle is an estimated 70 years old and belonged to Graeme’s father Eadley. It is believed to have been made in Mansfield in the early 1940’s by the saddler Bert Evans.
The saddle was used for mustering cattle on the Bluff run from the 1940’s. During the 1980’s, Graeme rode in both “Snowy” movies in the saddle.
When the Mountain Cattlemen staged their first historic protest on Parliament House in 1984 the saddle was there, being ridden up the steps and around the massive Parliament House pillars at the front door. (This really caused a stir and soon after that protest, future protesters were stopped from using the steps at all!)

Over the next twenty years many other Mountain Cattlemen’s protests were held as the cattle runs in the Alpine Park were gradually taken and the saddle was ridden at them all. It was used regularly in day to day operations with the Stoney cattle in the Mountains.

Graeme was painted riding in the saddle for an entry in the Archibald competition by artist Ellen Palmer Hubble. The painting depicted rescuing cattle from the 2006 bushfires and was displayed in the Archibald’s “Salon de Refuse” and exhibited in Melbourne.

When the saddle was missed, only half an hour after it was left behind, the President of the Mountain Cattlemen’s Association of Victoria (MCAV) Chris Commins, who was travelling with Graeme, quickly returned to the site at about 11.45 am, only to find everything gone. There were a great number of four wheel convoys and general traffic in the area due to Easter. These vehicles were bound for Gippsland, Craig’s Hut and even to NSW through the High Country.

“I am hoping someone picked it up thinking it had fallen off a vehicle. I would be very grateful to have it back, as it has significant sentimental value for our family,” Graeme said this week
Typical old style bushman’s stock saddle with heavy leather construction, reinforced knee pads and blue lining. Very good order.
Its distinguishing features are that it has heavy brown plastic stirrup leathers( not original!) and pommel straps to hold an oilskin
The bridle is heavy leather with plaited rope type reins. One saddle cloth has a round hole in it and the other is sheepskin with brown cloth trim.
Contact Graeme Stoney 0428576090 …. reward.
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