Sandy was donated as a patriotic gesture to the war effort by the O’Donnell family. He sailed to Egypt with the first convoy of Australian troops sent to war.
Horses were essential to the conflict.
They carried the mounted troops of the Australian Light Horse through the sand of the Middle East, lugged ammunition through the bloody fields of the Western Front, and hauled heavy artillery amid poisonous gas and shell fire.
Sandy was among 130,000 to 160,000 Australian horses sent to the war from farms and stations across the nation.
Before the disastrous assault at Anzac Cove on April 25 1915 Sandy caught the attention of Major General Bridges, Sandy seen as a beautiful, gently horse. Unfortunately, Major General Bridges was mortally wounded by a Turkish sniper.
He died sadly in a hospital ship on the way back to Egypt.
His dying wish, so the legend goes, is to be reunited with his favourite horse Sandy. Sandy was shipped from England to Australia in 1918.
The sculpture of Sandy, by Brett Mon Garling, means the town of Tallangatta, near the headwaters of the Murray River, has a new tourist attraction to ensure Sandy’s phenomenal legacy lives on.
Sandy, in a way, represented all those horses that didn’t come back.
Thanks to: Rachel Caines Historian/Military History Section Australian War Memorial
Rory Holloway Communications coordinator/Communications and Marketing Australian War Memorial Landline TV Show