A fund raiser to help Brisbane trainer Darren Bell who has been forced out of the sport after his stable was shut down because of a strangles case, has reached $70,000.
Last month Bell announced he was shutting his stables due to rising debts and the impact on his mental health.
Racing Queensland had shut down his business for four months earlier this year when he reported two of his horses had strangles, a usually non-fatal respiratory disease.
His fellow trainers were outraged as trainers in Sydney and Melbourne had been fined but allowed to continue training after not reporting cases of strangles.
The Queensland branch of the Australian Trainers Association started a fund to help Bell.
ATA Queensland secretary Cameron Partington said RQ had indicated it would donate $15,000 to the fund bringing the total to just over $70,000.
He said the trainers had been in negotiations with RQ since early in the year to get a clear policy on compensation and plans if other trainers had strangles cases.
“Our most recent submission has been before the RQ board for the last month,” Partington said.
“With strong support from Thoroughbred Board rep Mark Sowerby, it was very pleasing to receive the news from chief executive Eliot Forbes of this assistance.”
Partington said a large portion of the $70,000 was presented to Darren on Saturday.
“Darren is totally overwhelmed by the continued support and would like to thank everyone,” he said,
“He is taking time off now to sort out his affairs and hopefully regain the conviction and motivation to return to the trainers ranks.”