Sasha's Waterloo: Recreating historic battle in Belgium

REMAKING HISTORY: Sasha Buchmann is in Belgium to re-enact the Battle of Waterloo. She’s pictured at Martinsville with colleagues from her 18th century calvary re-enactment group, Simon Turner, left, and Chris Ayoub. Picture: David Stewart
REMAKING HISTORY: Sasha Buchmann is in Belgium to re-enact the Battle of Waterloo. She’s pictured at Martinsville with colleagues from her 18th century calvary re-enactment group, Simon Turner, left, and Chris Ayoub. Picture: David Stewart

A LOCAL history buff has been chosen to ride a horse today in the 200-year anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo.

Sasha Buchmann of Martinsville - a woman with Polish, Russian and Scandinavian heritage - will ride into battle as a male British soldier, fighting French troops, on the famous Belgian battlefield.

She'll be helping to recreate one of the most significant events in history.

"This will be one of the biggest cavalry re-enactments the world has ever seen," Ms Buchmann said.

The event will involve thousands of re-enactors, 5000 rifles and 400 horses from around the world.

The choreographed battle will be a colourful spectacle.

But it will also be loud, fast and dangerous.

"We'll be riding into a skirmish at full speed with sabres drawn and charging right at each other," she said.

The gunfire, yelling and thundering hooves will be deafening.

But despite the obvious risks, Ms Buchmann smiles at the prospect. "It will be quite a beautiful moment," she said.

A squad of 60 Australians will take part in the event, most from historical re-enactment groups.

But only three Australians were chosen to take part on horseback.

A veteran of several re-enactments around the world, Ms Buchmann is accustomed to being cast among the vanquished.

"Sometimes you have to be on the losing side, often when you are playing native people," she said.

"But this time I will be winning. I'll be liberating Europe from Napoleonic rule."

Organisers have been planning the event for 10 years. They are big on attention to detail.

"Because so much has been written about the Battle of Waterloo, we know exactly how many horses stood on what hill," she said.

The event will be attended by prime ministers and members of royal families, she said.

BIG STAGE: A scene from the 2009 re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo, which featured re-enactors from 12 countries. Picture: Reuters

BIG STAGE: A scene from the 2009 re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo, which featured re-enactors from 12 countries. Picture: Reuters

She’s got the look

SASHA Buchmann will be wearing a $2500 uniform to the Battle of Waterloo re-enactment.

‘‘This is an all-wool dolman jacket with 1812 patterns,’’ she said. 

‘‘These are the cavalry jackets that the men wore, and this is what you see at The Louvre.’’

Her horse kit was also valued at $2500, she said.

The cost of transporting her horse to Belgium was prohibitive (about $27,000) so Ms Buchmann will ride a British horse in the event.

AUTHENTIC: Sasha Buchmann in the outfit she'll ride in the battle of Waterloo recreation today. Picture: David Stewart

AUTHENTIC: Sasha Buchmann in the outfit she'll ride in the battle of Waterloo recreation today. Picture: David Stewart

History repeats

SASHA Buchmann leads the 14th century jousting and medieval 

re-enactment group, Household of the Green Knight, at Cooranbong.

A horse and history enthusiast, Ms Buchmann enjoys re-enactments of various periods in history.

She recently co-founded an 18th century cavalry re-enactment group known as D Troop 15th Kings Light Dragoons (Hussars) NSW. Last year, she rode in the 160th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade.

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