A fresh angle to the long-running conversation about better honouring the memory of Sandy the war horse is gathering momentum in the Tallangatta community.
Sandy, the only horse from Australia to return from World War I, was donated to the war effort by Francis ‘Bonner’ O’Donnell of Old Tallangatta.
The group came together in January and president Ross Smith said it had received strong interest.
"The story has been brought up many times and this time we’re going to keep it pumped up," he said.
"We’re chasing a bronze memorial to be put in town.
"It would be a full-sized, rideable statue, so people could take photos of it.
"I put it on Facebook that I wanted to fire it up and everyone jumped on board - we had 27 people at the first meeting.
"We’re going to try and be at the major events around here."
Maribyrnong-based The Friends of Sandy and the Australian Light Horse worked for decades to establish a memorial in their area, unveiling the laser-cut silhouette in 2017, and Mr Smith said that group supported the rising campaign in the north of the state.
"They are rapt we're doing something after they put in the memorial where Sandy died," he said.
In other news:
"It's coming up to 100 years since he was put down, which is in 2023, so we're hoping to have the memorial up in Tallangatta well and truly by then."
The group had a stall at the Tallangatta Show at the weekend to raise awareness and money for the cause.
Secretary Tony Elvidge said it was early days for the project.
"We’ve just started to look into grants, which is a minefield in how it all works," he said.
"We’ve been to council and they’re on board.
"It’s surprising how many people in town don’t know the story about Sandy - which is not just a Tallangatta story, but an Australian story."
Sandy was a stock horse used on the O'Donnell farm and was described as "the typical farm horse" before being sent to Egypt for use of the Australian Imperial Expeditionary Forces.
Major General William Throsby Bridges had three horses for his private mount including Sandy.
Bridges died in 1915 at Gallipoli and it's said his dying wish was to see Sandy returned home for retirement.
Sandy was the only Australian horse of 136,000 to do so and was humanely put down in 1923.