Horseshoe Top End is a scenic sheep property in the stunning Horseshoe Range which is described by geologists as a miniature Wilpena Pound. This beautiful part of the Flinders Ranges has been home to five generations of the Connell family. Their connection to the Horseshoe started way back in the 1870’s when John Connell, an emigrant from Ireland and his wife Anne (Greer) first settled on one of the 640 acre blocks carved up from the original large pastoral run, Coonatto Station.
The Horseshoe or ‘The Shoe’ as it is often affectionately called was a thriving community in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, with a school established at the turn of the century. Social activities included Sunday cricket and tennis matches. The main service centre was the booming town of Hammond. The Adelaide to Alice Springs rail link ran through Carrieton, Moockra and Hammond and was crucial for the transport of grain and other produce and supply of goods.
But of course, life was tough for the twelve families who settled in the Horseshoe Pound, clearing land, growing crops, raising stock, dealing with droughts, all in a foreign land and climate. It was difficult to survive on these small blocks and so many families left the area while the remaining landowners expanded their holdings. The school closed in 1920 and by 1963, Jim Sr and Sheila Connell (3rd generation) and their family were the only landholders still living here. The stone ruins and piles of rubble scattered throughout the pound are now the only evidence of those great but hard times. In 1977, Jim and Teresa took over the running of the Connell property after Jim Sr and Sheila retired to Orroroo. In 2005, with the help of their son Tim, they diversified in to tourism, naming their property Horseshoe Top-End. This additional income has enabled them to pursue their commitment to protecting areas of remnant vegetation for future generations to enjoy.
The Connell family are proud of the rich history of the area and especially their link with the Horseshoe which has remained unbroken since the 1870’s. Jim and Teresa appreciate the opportunity tourism has provided them to help make their property viable and to share their beautiful part of the world with others.
We look forward to your stay.