Australian Brumby Challenge ©

Clay Baird

From Mt Beauty, Victoria: Non-Professional Trainer


Clay Baird grew up on a horse in the Bogong High Plains. He runs multi-day packhorse expeditions into the remote areas of the Alpine National Park as part of a family business – Bogong Horseback Adventures.

Clay has watched the changing landscape of the wild horses for many years.

Clay spent over 15 years in the USA, packing Mules in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

His lifelong engagement with people and horses has taught him many life lessons which he applies to his horsemanship.



Weekly Training Updates


Join Clay and VBA Jill on their journey !


Week 1     Week 2     Week 3     week 4     week 5     week 6     week 7

WEEK 8    week 9     week 10     week 11     week 12     week 13    

week 14    week 15     week 16     WEEK 17    week 18     WEEK 19   

week 20


Unfortunately, Clay discovered an old injury on VBA Feathers, his original Challenge Brumby, making her unsuitable for starting under saddle. Clay's new Brumby is VBA Jill and we wish him heaps of luck with Jill especially as he is now starting 3 weeks behind.

We have every faith however that Clay will meet this challenge with enthusiasm and do amazingly with VBA Jill.


Clay wrote a beautiful poem for VBA Feathers which can be read here

VBA Jill


VBA Jill is an approximately 14hh bright chestnut mare who was caught in 2017 as a Seven year old from the Bago State Forest in New South Wales. Jill was caught with her family mob, including VBA Feathers,  VBA Cherry who is also doing the McDowells herbal Australian Brumby Challenge and VBA Jills daughter VBA Camira and son VBA Wizard. Both Jill and Camira foaled after their arrival at our sanctuary, to VBA Bago (Jill) and VBA Avena (Camira), both of whom are in the Youth section of the McDowells Herbal Australian Brumby Challenge. This means that with VBA Jill, VBA Bago her son and VBA Avena, Jills grand daughter, we have three generations of her family in the Australian Brumby Challenge 2018!


VBA Jill's trainer in the McDowells Australian Brumby Challenge is Clay Baird.