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The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918

Captured Turkish Ponies

Captured Turkish Ponies.

Then there were the captured horses, or rather ponies, for very seldom has the Turk
palais de justice, damascus, occupied by arab army. (British Off. Photo.)

palais de justice, damascus, occupied by arab army.
(British Off. Photo.)

a horse which stands above 13 or 14. hands. We picked up these ponies in great numbers, skinny, long-haired little fellows, but like their masters extremely hardy campaigners. All captured horses have to be sent back to the base as soon as possible after they are taken. But a little grace is given, and for a week or two after an advance you see a fair sprinkling of the best of. them in our cavalry lines. The average Light Horseman is loth to part with a neat backsheesh pony and occasionally you find a beauty in the Turkish cavalry. Those sent back were sometimes used to carry the prisoners, and one evening at Lejjun this practice led to one of the most tumultuous incidents in the campaign. There were 4000 Turks and 500 ponies, and a sympathetic staff officer decided that the prisoners should take it in turn to ride. Already the men were exhausted and footsore. They still had far to go; the road was rough and dusty, the evening hot. They were under the escort of a handful of Light Horsemen The moment they learned the ponies were to be ridden, they made a wild mob dash. Turkish ponies are not easily alarmed, but this was too much for them, and they bolted. For half an-hour ponies galloped and Turks ran and fought. As each pony was caught he was stormed by twenty riders, and as each man mounted he was dragged down and trampled upon. The Light Horsemen had much hard riding and bluff rifle shooting before the column was restored.