Equine therapy horse Jess still working at 42 in in Western Victoria

The year 1980 marked the beginning of a decade filled with iconic moments that shaped the world as we know it today (not to mention plenty of blockbuster movies, tunes and big hair).

Jess, 42, lives near Ballan in Victoria

The mare works as an equine therapy horse

The average life span of a horse is 25 – 30 years

It was also the year bay x brumby mare, Jess, was born in regional Victoria.

Jackson Park Equestrian Healing Centre equine therapist said Jess’s age was proven by her distinct branding as she guided her into a grassy Mount Wallace paddock, north-west of Melbourne.

“It confirms her age… it’s complete confirmation she is 42 this year,” she said.

When Jess met Louise

Jess was originally from a property in Meredith, a town between Ballarat and Geelong.

Ms Jackson was contacted via social media about five years ago after the property owner died.

“They were settling on the property and Jess had nowhere to go,” Ms Jackson said.

“They contacted us to see if they’d taken her under our care.”

It was a resounding “yes” from Ms Jackson.

Jess has since been helping special needs children and other mostly National Disabililty Insurance Scheme clients as an equine therapy horse.

“Jess is mainly used for sensory therapy needs, but she can also work under saddle and she does like occasional rides from the children to help with their mobility,” Ms Jackson said.

“She’s definitely a yearling at heart and has a free spirit.”

Eight more years to crack Aussie record
What was believed to be Australia’s oldest horse, Calypso, died aged 50 on the Gold Coast in 2020.

The country’s oldest living racehorse is Phantom Rock, who is preparing to mark his 40th birthday on the Sunshine Coast this year.

Ms Jackson said she was confident Jess was the oldest horse in the region — if not the state — and “definitely has a few more years in her”.

“She’s fitter than most of our racehorses and a spring chicken in her own mind,” Ms Jackson said.

“Hopefully, she makes the record.”