As the NSW fires, particularly the scorched south of NSW, have forced evacuations by the hundreds of thousands, racehorse trainers down there are concerned.
And why wouldn’t they be?
Things are so bad PM Scott Morrison went down to look it over. And while there, the Member for Bega, Andrew Constance, today said “you just should never have to live through something like this,” and he understands why people are leaving. The whole region is declared a People Leave Zone.
But racehorse trainers in Bega, Moruya and Canberra are staying put. They have an innate hypocritic type oath of their own to protect the horses in their charge at all costs.
These are trainers like Rob Potter, a tough old hard boot who has lived through many, many things. He trains out of Canberra with a team of 16.
“This is horrendous, mate.”
“I got up early this morning and just shook my head. You can’t work horses in that. The smoke is too thick. So for the third day in a row I just walked them.
“The smoke haze is just shocking. The levels of air quality I hear down here, it’s the worst in the world right now. And it’s gunna deteriorate too as we are looking at 42 or 43 on Saturday as well.”
It’s tough on the horses the most. The trainers as well, and in large part the owners too as they keep paying bills only to see race meeting after race meeting abandoned down south.
Tumut this weekend has been postponed. Albury today has been moved to Monday with zero assurance it will go ahead, Moruya next Monday is now dead as well. These rae just the very latest.
It is apocalyptic.
Mitchell Beer another southern trainer at Albury who has stables at Mornington as well, has been active on Twitter rallying shop owners and generally asking for support.
Yesterday he got on Twitter and simply asked for money for hay, and horse feed for the horses down there. He received a tremendous response. Aussies are like that and $4000 or so worth of hay just arrived.
He tweeted as well, “Anyone in the Albury/Wodonga are, Hay Runners is organising a hay run for you all from Tallangatta north for the fire effected stock. But we need more large trucks to help.”
Some stores in the region are helping out. Pet stock at Lavington just cleared their shelves to supply help.
Beer even opened up his stables for anyone with a horse who had to leave their own place. He even volunteered to go get them in his own horse float.
Aussie will do that.
And all his generosity comes out of need and in the face of his own wallet being stolen last week out of his car.
Legendary Barbara Joseph and her sons Paul & Matt have also offered their support for those in worse areas than they are in.
They have Canberra and Sapphire Coast stables. Said Paul, “For our friends along the South Coast experiencing hell at the minute, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. We have stables/feed available for horses at our Sapphire Coast training base.
“It’s the least we could do. Be safe everyone.”
Aussie are like that.