Fabish: the Horse That Braved a Bushfire

Neridah McMullin, Andrew McLean

Fabish: the Horse That Braved a Bushfire
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Fabish: the Horse That Braved a Bushfire

Neridah McMullin, Andrew McLean

Fabish was a handsome grey racehorse. In his racing days, he wasn’t the fastest horse, but he always tried his hardest. And when he retired, Fabish took care of the yearlings in a paddock far away from the training track. Fabish showed the flighty young horses what was expected of a racehorse.

One hot summer day, a wild wind blew up and the yearlings were restless. Then Fabish smelled smoke. Fire was coming, fast. The trainer threw open the gate and said, ‘Go now!’ Fabish neighed to the young ones and they galloped away. All through the night, the fire raged and the trainer battled to save the racehorses in the stables.

But what would become of Fabish and the yearlings? Could he save them from the firestorm?

Review

This is a true story from the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, written from the perspective of a brave trainer, John Evett, and a courageous horse, Fabish.

An ex-racehorse, Fabish’s retirement role was to look after the young horses (known as yearlings) out in a back paddock. That fateful summer when a hot wind brought fire to the property, the trainer opened the paddock gate and told Fabish to take the seven yearlings to safety. While the trainer kept the racehorses in the barn all night, Fabish and the yearlings survived surrounded by fire. This remarkable story is written with an ear for the sound of language, and the paintings by Andrew McLean of the horses and the landscape are breathtaking. It is suitable for readers aged 5 and up, particularly in a classroom setting where you can discuss bushfire and its impact upon humans and animals.


Angela Crocombe is the Children’s Book Buyer at Readings Carlton.

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