Wild horses are widely distributed in the arid zone of South Australia, including the Strzelecki, Sturt Stony and Simpson deserts as well as the Anangu Pitjantjatjara. It is believed that most of these horses were derived from abandoned stock bred for military purposes in Australia and for export to British colonies such as India.
A distinct group of horses on the coast near Port Lincoln is the Coffin Bay Pony. Sixty Timor ponies were brought to the area in 1839 by the Hawson family to be used for breeding horses on the Eyre Penisula. ABA Member Group the Coffin Bay Brumby Preservation Society have been stewards of this population since the 1980’s when the ponies were deemed a pest and faced removal by Parks and Wildlife.
Apart from the protected Coffin Bay Pony, many wild horses in South Australia and neighboring states have been culled for horse meat export. Peterborough, South Australia has one of Australia’s two accredited abattoirs for horse meat.