Riders taking part in the commemorative horse ride for the 100th anniversary of the battle of Beersheba will be wearing black armbands during their functions in Winton this week, in honour of one of their troop who passed away on Wednesday.
Former police officer and dedicated Rockhampton Mounted Infantry Historical Troop member, Howard Weier, died while travelling from Longreach to Winton.
It’s understood he died of natural causes.
Jed Millen, the chairman of the Queensland Mounted Infantry Historical Troop undertaking the tribute ride for the 100th anniversary of the battle of Beersheba, said the whole group was deeply saddened by the loss of their mate and “one heck of a rider”.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family and he will be sorely missed,” he said. "Our riders will be wearing black arm bands today in memory of Howard."
The troop is undertaking a mounted ride from Windermere Station at Winton, past the Shearers Strike Memorial and through Bladensburg National Park, where they will re-enact the historic charge at Beersheba before taking part in the Winton Outback Festival sunset dinner extravaganza.
Howard, who was 74, was preparing for the trip of a lifetime to take part in the official Australian commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba in Israel in October.
In the time-honoured tradition of respect for the fallen soldier in Light Horse units, Thursday’s ride will feature Howard’s horse with his boots reversed in the stirrups.