It’s fair to say Colin Heggie had an elevated view of the world. He was an Eden Valley man at his very core. The high country was his home.
Every weathered fold of this upland plateau, every rocky outcrop, every ancient gum, was marked on the map that unfurled in his mind, a map he could read in his sleep. It could be said, with some conviction, no man knew the Eden Valley better than Colin Heggie. He knew it almost as well as his horse.
Colin Heggie spent so much time astride his faithful horse Jack, his knees were total strangers.
The good people of Angaston became very accustomed to the sound of Jack’s hooves striking the street as the pair made their way along the high street, the rhythmic syncopation of Jack’s canter regularly punctuated with the piercing crack of Colin’s stock whip. There were some who said Colin and Jack were like storm clouds and raincoats, you rarely saw one without the other.
Even in the front bar of the Eden Valley pub.
A man rides into a bar astride his horse might sound like the start of a joke, but up here, back then, it was just the way Colin caught up with his mates.
History records several occasions where Colin and his mate Ron Staehr rode their horses into the Eden Valley pub. When asked why, Ron Staehr supposedly said, “I was just following Colin.” History seems to have forgotten if the barman ever asked Jack, “So, why the long face?”.
It’s when you’ve had a big night at the pub on the back of your horse that a bit of local knowledge comes in handy, and even if that map that unfurls in your mind might be a little hard to read, at least your horse has his, and you’ll always find your way home.
As long as Colin was on Jack’s back, he knew Jack had his.