The Terra Nova Expedition
1910 – 1913
Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s second expedition to the South Pole is a world famous story of exploration and endurance. Leaving England in June 1910, the Terra Nova set sail for the Antarctic.Upon reaching Melbourne, Australia, Captain Scott left the ship to finalize expedition plans. Waiting for him as he disembarked was a telegram from Roald Amundsen, who the world believed was headed for the North Pole. The telegram informed Scott that in fact, he was headed south. Amundsen would be in direct competition with Scott in the race to the South Pole.
Scott was not wholly in favor of using animals for hauling sledges, believing that his plans shouldn’t rely upon the suffering of animals. His competitor, Amundsen, was solely relying on dogs, a detail Scott derided him for. Scott knew that dogs were undoubtedly good for hauling loads further than men, but his experience taught him they were unreliable and suffered in such conditions. He knew that Shackleton had achieved the furthest south using ponies, and believed that more ponies and more supplies could take him to the pole, even if it meant a later start. Unfortunately, Captain Oates, his most knowledgeable horse man, wasn’t sent to select the ponies. This meant the ponies chosen weren’t suited to the Terra Nova expedition.