By UTE SCHULENBERG
BUFFALO believes he has brumbies in his blood.
"My great grandfather worked horses all his life and was still breaking them at 72," the Dundurrabin horseman said.
Down in Bellingen for the long-weekend, Buffalo's small group of nuggety mountain ponies attracted plenty of attention.
"These horses are tough, mellow and loving. People are always surprised how gentle they are.
"They are part of the cultural heritage of this country ? I love sharing that heritage horse experience."
Growing up as a surfer in Mackay, North Queensland, Buffalo's love affair with horses really began when he was 21 and went potato picking in Dorrigo.
"I was given a horse to work with and I've never looked back."
Buffalo has been catching horses in the Guy Fawkes River National Park area for years and now has a mob of about a dozen, including a heritage-listed stallion 'Me Mate', who he caught and broke in six years ago.
After the controversial aerial culling of brumbies by the National Parks and Wildlife Service in 2000, Buffalo was an adviser on the heritage working party set up to report to the minister in the aftermath of the furore.
"As result the NPWS now recognises the heritage value of the horses and no aerial culling is permitted in NSW."
Buffalo started his business 'Buffalo's Brumbies' three years ago to give people a taste of the pioneering spirit.
"Bushranging still exists but you don't need to be robbing banks. I take three people out for a few days with saddle and pack horses and we explore routes around Moonpah and Chaelundi."
For more information phone 6657 8267 or 0427 537 689.