Anzac Day. Parade time. Look smart. Stand tall. Eyes front. Ears forward.

Alison Green didn't need instructions from a sergeant major when she stepped in to save the day at the Anzac Day commemoration service at Matakohe.

Earlier that morning, Craig Linton had ridden his own horse in the Maungaturoto Dawn Service and planned to do the same at Matakohe. But a stone bruise put paid to that.

Local farmer Mike Smales, who'd been at the service, heard about Craig's horse and an idea grew. At the Maungaturoto RSA he told Craig of his plan and then rushed home.