Day At The Track

Industry participants back bushfire appeals

03:53 AM 06 Jan 2020 NZDT
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Images of Malua Beach in NSW
Images of Malua Beach in NSW
Alex Coppel, NewsCorp Australia Photo

The Harness Racing industry is doing its bit to help with bushfire aid as eastern Australia continues to be devastated by horrendous fires.

Owners, trainers and drivers; transport operators; feed suppliers and others have joined forces to donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.

Those connected to the industry are renowned for being generous and willing to assist wherever there's a need - and initiatives are emerging each day on a number of fronts.

Mildura Harness Racing club CEO Michelle McGinty has made a plea, on behalf of Performance Saddle Fits, for urgent supplies.

"Our club is hoping to collect new and used horse gear that's in good condition so it can be donated to fire affected horse owners throughout Australia," Ms McGinty said.

"The sorts of things we are looking for are veterinary items such as wrap, tape and creams for burns, antiseptic sprays, Manuka honey and supplements particularly magnesium," she said.

Images of Malua Beach in NSW

"Also, things such as fly veils, halters, leads, rugs, buckets, harness, tack and brushes - anything that horse owners need."

The club has asked for all secondhand items please be clean and in good condition so they can be passed onto those in need without delay.

Anyone who can assist can drop off donated items to the club during business hours or contact Ms McGinty on 0447 380214.

The powerful Yole team in Tasmania will donate $50 from each winner landed this month to the bushfire appeal.

Stable representative Samantha Gangell said the pledge kicked off last week.

"We landed four winners last Wednesday at St Marys so we've already made $200 for the appeal," Gangell said.

"Let's hope we can kick home heaps of winners to help out all the desperate people in need who have been effected by this horrible disaster," she said.

And in addition, generous South Australian owner-trainer Aaron Bain has answered the call for donations in the best possible way.

"Every winner we own with the Ben Yole racing team, it's double up!" Bain said.

New South Wales reinsman Brad Elder has also promised $50 from every winner in January.

"Hopefully I can get a few-and it would be fantastic if other trainers and drivers get on board and do the same," Elder said.

Seven-year-old bay gelding Iconic Value raced for an extra special cause at Gloucester Park, Perth, last Friday night.

A pledge of $1000 was made to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal and Fire Wildlife Rescue from clients of the Ross Olivieri stables if the horse was successful. Iconic Valor, owned by Jemma Hayman, was driven a treat by Chris Voak to get the job done.

The Hygain Team Teal Lady Drivers donated their driving fees at the Bendigo Pacing Cup meeting on Saturday to the Victorian bushfire victims.

Other offers again showing the generosity of horsy people include empty holding yards near Bendigo, and a couple offering free horse transport services - M and J Peterson Horse Transport has a truck and two-horse float based at Wangaratta.

"Our semi carries 10 horses with water available on board. We have portable cattle yards to load unhandled and difficult horses as well as other livestock," Matt said.

The thoroughbred industry has also jumped on board. Champion jockey Tommy Berry will donate $250 for every January winner he lands, while one of the most famous racing establishments in the world, the Godolphin empire, will kick in $100 for every winner. For every horse sold during this week's Magic Millions sale, the vendors will contribute $500 per horse.

A facebook page "Victoria Bushfire Horse Help" is helping to coordinate offers of assistance and donation items.

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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