Beersheba Light Horse Had Amazing Physical Strength
One of Australia’s leading authorities on the Australian Light Horse believes horse riders will have a special appreciation of the endurance and skills displayed by the light horse at the charge of Beersheba.
Picture Caption: Phil Chalker with the Charge at Beersheba Figurine he advised on.
Only horse riders can have an insight into the amazing physical endurance displayed by the men of the Australian Light Horse and their mounts during the famous charge at Beersheba 100 years ago, according to the National President of the Australian Light Horse Association, Phil Chalker.
As Australia prepares to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 4th Light Horse Brigade charge of 31 October 1917, which captured the town and broke the Turkish Gaza line, Mr Chalker believes few will understand the demands on rider and horse in such a feat.
“Forgetting for a moment that they were riding headlong into Turkish gunners and riflemen, it is noteworthy to remember that neither man nor his mount had adequate water for more than 60 hours,” he said. “The charge was over about five miles and at least two miles at full gallop. And then horses had to jump sandbags and trenches, while riders had to leap from the saddle and fight for their lives with fists, bayonets and rifle.”
“The physical and mental strength of our Light Horsemen and their remounts is the Legend. Beersheba is simply its evidence.”
While only riders may appreciate the sensations of the ride – the smell of sweat and leather; the rushing heart and wind, the creak and clack of bit and saddle, and the powerful surging rhythm of the horse – all Australians will appreciate that the charge was an amazing display of Australian resilience and courage.
To celebrate the memory of the Australian Light Horse, and to mark the centenary of the charge at Beersheba, a new collection of detailed Light Horse figurines has been released to share more of the story and legend.
The special Light Horse collection features three key elements to portray the Light Horse. The charging trooper that remembers Beersheba and the mobility horses provided to the mounted infantry; the standing trooper who would in most cases fight on the ground as an infantryman; and the incredible bond these horsemen had with their remounts.
As one of Australia’s leading authorities on the Australian Light Horse, Mr Chalker advised the sculptors on the details to be captured if each was to truly represent history.
“I have only a historic interest in this collection and I was pleased to provide my views on the accuracy of uniforms and equipment,” he said. “I am very pleased with the resulting pieces and know that those of us who love both history and horses will appreciate the moment captured and the detail.”
Each figurine or medallion created for the collection is a limited edition and is provided with a certificate of authenticity. The Light Horse Collection can be viewed online.
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