I am going to tell you a story of a young boy, who stayed at the Rottnest Stables over the August School holidays. The top image is of the house that used to be the riding school back in the early 70’s.
The boy very much enjoyed his stay at the school and saw that old Jack Masters was struggling to keep up with all the work, so the boy wrote him a letter offering to work for him for nothing.
Jack was so relieved that the young boy was keen to assist him with the work load that he offered to pay for his fair over every weekend on the ferry and he gave him a horse to call his own as well as $20 for the weekend’s work.
The boy worked hard, feeding and grooming the horses, saddling them all up in time for the trail rides and then leading the trail rides out to the West End.
His horse was called Rab, short for Rabbit ears! As his ears stuck out horizontally. No one else could ride Rab as he was a one man horse and became very fidgety when anyone else came near him.
The boy ended up getting a job as an apprentice and could not keep up the weekend work and shortly after that a virus in the water made all the thoroughbreds very crook and most of them died. Jack Masters was not getting any younger and the passing of so many of his beloved horses was too much, so he closed the riding school and too the rest of the horses back to the mainland.
The top image is of the house that used to be the riding stables. The second image is an tribute to old Rab, showing him rearing on top of a hill which si something he used to like to do and the last image is the view from the other side of the hill that used to be Rab’s hill.
There has never been any more horses at Rottnest since old Jack closed the school, which is a such a shame as it was just the best way to see the island.
That young boy of course was me some 40 years ago! Fond memories indeed!