A new chapter began with Australian Outback Spectacular 2 ‘Heroes of the Light Horse’.
The show retained all the fun, charm and skill of the original but with an important difference, this time we celebrated the link between our stockmen and the legendary Australian Light Horse. It was also the first Outback Spectacular show directed by Simon Wincer, who went on to direct Spirit of the Horse and now High Country Legends.
Wincer added a new element to Heroes of the Light Horse by blending extracts from his movie with the live light horse action in the foreground, further enhancing the show and introducing high definition movie vision to all scenes. The experience offered a deeper journey to the heart and soul of the Australian Outback and the profound legacy of the Light Horsemen. A legacy that all Australians could be proud to be a part of.
The Light Horsemen had an amazing affinity with their horses. Some took their own, others broke in new mounts, looking after them while travelling overseas and keeping them all through the desert campaigns. They rode Australian stock horses, a mixture of Thoroughbred, Arab, Timor pony and wild Brumby. Known as Walers’, because the first ones came from New South Wales . . . they had a reputation for grit, sure-footedness and stamina.
Their finest hour came on October the 31st 1917 with one of the most audacious actions in modern warfare . . . The charge at Beersheba. In a last ditch effort to save the attacking British army from disaster, they were to attempt the near impossible, a cavalry charge across five kilometres of open desert, against 4,400 entrenched infantry, supported by machine guns and artillery. Surely a suicide mission.
Beersheba was the last successful cavalry charge in history, yet it was made by men who were neither cavalry nor professional soldiers. They were volunteers, mostly from the outback and the bush, who had been formed only three years earlier.
The Light Horse tradition proudly lives on in Royal Australian Armoured Corps, Cavalry units, equipped not with horses, but Light Armoured Vehicles.
The legendary men of the Light Horse inspire all of us to this day. Their amazing exploits are a perfect example of sacrifice and achievement. Their inspiration lives on.