Barmah State Park (7,900 ha) and Barmah State Forest (21,600 ha) are on the Murray River flood plain between Echuca and Tocumwal, about 225 km north of Melbourne. Together they make up the largest River Red Gum forest in Victoria. Equally, the area could be called a wetland as much of it is frequently flooded. Brumbies have been present in the Barmah Forest since the beginning of the last century. The Barmah Forest for many years was a State Forest and used for logging its spectacular Redgums as well as grazing both cattle and Horses. Many of the original horses grazed there were the Clydesdales that worked in the logging industry. The forest was used as a ‘winter paddock’ for the horses during quiet seasons, a place where they could graze, roam freely and recuperate from their hard work. There was also a large Standardbred stud which used the Barmah Forest as a spelling paddock for their breeding horses.
Horses were amongst animals imported by the colonists. The first horses to pass through the Barmah area were most likely those which belonged to the pastoralists in the 1840s, such as Edward Curr who came to the Barmah Forest looking for summer grasses for their sheep.
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ABA has compiled information on the history of the Barmah National Park which has been substantially updated by the Barmah Brumby Hay Angels.