Arts & Equitainment: Spirited Australia’s Horse Story

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Horses have played an invaluable role in shaping the history of Australia. On exhibition now through March 9, 2015 at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, Spirited: Australia’s Horse Story, honors and celebrates the elevated states of the horse in Australian culture.

Artist Harrie Fasher designed each of the stunning mannequins featured in the exhibition. The mannequins were fabricated by Thylacine. Via Facebook

Over 500 artifacts tell the stories of everything from stockmen, farmers, and mounted troops to sports stars across disciplines whose lives were enriched by their equine companions, and even the stories of a few special horses. Most notably, the exhibit features a rare collection of photographs and relics of Phar Lap, arguably the most famous racehorse in Australian history.

“I hope that when people visit this exhibition that they begin to look at their world through a lens of thinking, well how did the horse make the world that I live in?” says Spirited co-curator Dr Martha Sear to ABC. “Not only have they helped to build our cities and our towns and our farms and our stations and our industries, but they’ve also offered us something extra, which is their presence, their generosity, their willingness to work with us.”

“Horses have I think, a profound effect on people,” she adds, and “in the best cases they draw out of us a respect, and a gratitude.”

If you can’t make it to Canberra this winter, the National Museum website offers a wealth of images and information, such that it is almost possible to take a virtual tour without taking a step out your front door. Start with this video:

Then, head over to: and start exploring. Happy Arts & Equitainment Sunday!

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