Australia's worst floods in decades hit Toowoomba, the South East Queensland town nicknamed the 'Garden City', heavily yesterday (Tuesday January 11) with four confirmed deaths, but thankfully the town's harness racing and thoroughbred farm - Burwood Stud has escaped virtually unscathed.
A relieved owner, Noel Denning, said no lives - people or horses - had been lost in the floods despite fears still being held for dozens of missing citizens.
"We are lucky because we are situated on high ground and the water drains away quite easily. All we have suffered is minor fence damage. We have coped with the droughts and now the flood. We have been blessed," Denning said.
Purchased in 1978 by the Dennings, Burwood Stud has always been a family owned and operated business and originally commenced operations as a spelling and agistment property. An ever increasing client base ultimately led to existing clients requesting Burwood Stud to commercially stand stallions, and in 1985, harness racing stallions commenced duties at the Stud.
Between those formative years and now, numerous racetrack winners have either been bred and/or reared at Burwood Stud.
The commercially viable, proven harness racing stallion standing at Burwood Stud is(USA) 1:47.8 - (the fastest horse ever imported into Australasia (as of 31/1/2004) and winner of A$530,000).
He is joined by the exciting- a brilliant pacer who rated 1.51.6 at 3YO - and who is by champion stallion , out of a champion broodmare Perfect Profile.
In 2009 the classy and ultra consistent American born pacer Mr Aviator 1:49.2, a representative of the No Nukes sire line viadebuted at Burwood Stud - whilst 2009 also saw the return to Australia of sought after stallion 1:50, a now proven and successful sire both in North America and Australia.
"We have 300 horses on our property including stallions, broodmares, yearlings and foals and thankfully they are all okay. We can count our lucky stars considering the mess Toowoomba is in. Our thoughts go out to all the families who have lost lives and to those whose family members are still missing.
"We have been truly blessed," Denning stressed.
By Duane RANGER (editor)