Photographer and friend of the Brooms Head brumby Steve Otton's beautiful photograph of the legendary wild one.
Photographer and friend of the Brooms Head brumby Steve Otton's beautiful photograph of the legendary wild one. Steve Otton

Brumby’s legendary story lives on

FROM the moment he was born, Kellie Hobbins had always felt a connection to Brooms Heads' legendary Brumby.

"My grandparents had a house at Brooms Head, and I happened to be out there visiting the summer Brumby was born," she said.

"He's always been a part of my life and a part of the town's identity.

"Over the years, whenever we were on holidays, we'd always come up to Brooms Head with a bag of carrots and try to feed him."

When Ms Hobbins learned of Brumby's failing health, like anyone who came to know the elusive piebald stallion, she was devastated.

"I went straight out with my children to see Brumby before he passed," she said.

"It was understandably a sad, confronting time; to see him so unwell."

Days later, Brumby was laid to rest at his favourite spot, the Brooms Head Bowling Club.

"That's when I realised that Josie, my eldest, would always remember him, but my youngest wouldn't, so, like any parent, I started to scrawl down two stories: one for my eldest and one for my youngest," Ms Hobbins said.

 

 

The cover of the new Brumby book
The cover of the new Brumby book

 

 

It wasn't long before she was sitting down with friend and photographer Stephen Otton to map out a children's picture book about Brumby.

"Steve had been photographing Brumby for the last 10 years of his life so there were lots of beautiful images to help us present this great story behind Brumby and how much of a legend he is," she said.

With the help of designer and founder of Australian Brumby Magazine Maggie Johnson, the trio were able to turn this idea into a finished product.

Through the power of social media, the trio were able to produce the book without ever actually meeting in person.

 

Creators Maggie Johnson (left), Kellie Hobbins, and Stephen Otton pass on the Brooms Head Brumby's legend to the next generation.
Creators Maggie Johnson (left), Kellie Hobbins, and Stephen Otton pass on the Brooms Head Brumby's legend to the next generation.

 

"We simply had a group chat on Facebook Messenger and Steve might send a message asking if I could fix something, then I'd send him back a PDF of the update," Ms Johnson said.

"It was definitely a different process, but it worked for because Steve might send me a list of updates or edits late at night, I'll get that first thing in the morning and have them done by the afternoon."

Simply titled 'Brumby', the 44-page book contains stunning images of Brumby complimented by a story that affectionately captures his life.

"It was definitely a labour of love, but I think what we've produced reflects how much Brumby meant to each of us," Mr Otton said.

As tomorrow marks the first anniversary of Brumby's passing, the group said it will be a day of quiet reflection, but also a day of celebration with their book ensuring his story is never forgotten.

The book is available for purchase online at www.stephenotton.com, or in person at Brooms Head store, Brooms Head Bowling Club, Maclean Picture Frames and Yamba Remedial Massage Therapy.