Horse on the loose after tragedy strikes rider
UNDER tragic circumstances, the community are coming together to help a family out in what would have been Allan Walls' greatest wish.
On the morning of Friday, July 28 Allan Wall, a man who loved spending time with his animals and first started riding at only five years old, went for a ride on his horse Ben in the morning with his dog Rusty trotting along happily by their side.
Hours passed without a sighting of Allan and concern grew within the family.
As the day turned to dusk and the growing darkness crept in, with no sign of Allan, his sons loaded up their car with fuel and followed the horse's tracks from the property through Yuraygir National Park.
They came across a side track showing fresh horse shoe prints and yelled out to the dog Rusty who replied with a bark.
Reunited with Rusty, Marty said he told him to take them to his dad before the dog led the way and sat down next to Allan.
"He looked like he was just having a sleep," Marty said.
Allan had passed away during the ride from a suspected heart attack.
"We're still waiting to find out what happened to dad, it looks like a big heart attack. He was only about 2kms from home," Marty said.
The family are now on a mission to find his horse, which is still saddled and running free in the national park.
"Ben was his last horse, it's his last saddle, his last everything. It would mean absolutely everything to have him back. It'll be closure," he said.
"Dad was never cruel to an animal and never wanted to see it. He would be sitting there impressed with the effort we're going to bring his horse back home.
In an effort to find Ben, Marty took to social media to ask people to keep an eye out for a saddled horse in the area and received an overwhelming response from the community.
"It's amazing, there are absolute strangers coming out. It's very humbling, a lot of people know my dad or have met him once.
"Dad would do anything for anyone, he never judged, never complained, always worked and when help needed a hand he was always there.
People have travelled in their horse floats to ride through the area in search of Ben and with the help of strangers another organised search day is planned for this Saturday, August 12.
"We're going to shrink the circle. Ben can't cross Red Rock or Wooli river so he's caught in an area of around three million acres.
Ben has been spotted in the area with a mare and foal, but no one has been able to catch him.
On Saturday, everyone is welcome to join the search on foot, horse back, mountain bike or four-wheel-drive.
Organisers have asked for dogs, motorbikes and drones to be left at home.
Signs will be in place to direct people to the meeting place at Barcoongere Way near Station Creek and people are invited to attend at any time throughout the day.
High visibility vests, rescue packs, food and beverages will also be supplied.
For more information, visit public invite: search for Ben on Facebook or call Marty Wall on 0499 910 195.