Bill The Bastard

Video highlights from Australian War Horse

The legendary tale of Australia’s greatest war horse.

He was known as the “unbreakable” horse. Strong, powerful and controlled by no man. When unaware riders climbed in his saddle, they would be on the ground in seconds.

That was until Bill met Michael.

After forming an instant connection, Major Michael Shanahan and Bill became heroes during the Great War of 1914 – 1918, saving the lives of soldiers and carrying the ANZACs to victory in the Middle East.

With bullets flying, Bill and Major Shanahan rode through the battlefield picking up soldiers who had lost their horses. With two men on either stirrup and two on Bill, the pair galloped safely through the enemy to safety.

By the end of the war, Bill had become a legend and the horse everybody wanted.

Bill was one of more than 130,000 horses who served in World War I and never returned to Australia.

Their spectacular story is the subject of a new feature-length documentary Australian War Horse, premiering ANZAC Day (Monday 25 April) at 8.30pm AEST/NZST on National Geographic Channel.

Learn more about Australia's war horses here

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