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Jesse's deep affinity with horses

MAJESTIC MOMENT: Jesse Blackadder with the brumby mare Timana at the Seih Al Salam Stables in Dubai. Jesse has a new novel out entitled Paruku The Desert Brumby.
MAJESTIC MOMENT: Jesse Blackadder with the brumby mare Timana at the Seih Al Salam Stables in Dubai. Jesse has a new novel out entitled Paruku The Desert Brumby. Cassandra Haddad

IN HER early years, Jesse Blackadder was the little girl who had posters of horses on her bedroom wall.

Even though she never owned a horse, her love for them never dwindled.

As a child, she loved visiting her cousins on their farm in Armidale, NSW.

Ms Blackadder is now an award-winning author of historical fiction for adults.

When a story arises, it is usually is inspired by snippets of real stories. When I research my novels I have to travel to the place and be there and be present in the landscapes.

Her latest novel, Paruku The Desert Brumby, follows the amazing journey of Paruku and 13 of his herd mates, who were all born wild at Lake Gregory in the East Kimberly and are now living in the endurance racing stables of the deputy ruler of Dubai, Sheik Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Her fascination with brumbies came after reading a newspaper article about them arriving in Dubai. As part of her research, she travelled to Lake Gregory to find Paruku's relatives in the wild and then on to Dubai, where she met several of the brumbies face to face in the Sheik's stables.

"The research was done in a fairly short time in 2012. Travelling to Dubai was the most important part, meeting the horses up close," she said.

"Brumbies are charismatic and curious animals. They are just as interested in you.

"I have always been interested in the history between humans and horses and the relationship between the two, on and off the land."

She said the Kimberley brumbies were descended from Arabian and thoroughbred horses released in the area during the 1950s and 1960s to improve the quality of stockhorses. It was the Arabian bloodline that made them attractive to the Sheik.

While the novel fictionalises the story of the brumbies, it contains many real events, such as the description of how the horses were caught.

Before taking pen to paper, Ms Blackadder worked for Landcare for many years and has always been interested in sustainable landcare.

While working for Landcare, she loved getting out to various properties and having a yarn with the farmers.

"My dad had an angus cattle stud for 20 years and I would go to his property and help him out," she said.

Landscapes are strong and vital element in Ms Blackadder's books.

"When a story arises, it is usually is inspired by snippets of real stories. When I research my novels I have to travel to the place and be there and be present in the landscapes," she said.

"It is about the behaviours, the people, the animals and how they live on the land.

Paruku The Desert Brumby is on sale through ABC Books. For more information visit: jesseblackadder.com

Topics:  author equestrian horses