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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: Foal ambulance, stolen horse, Brumby plan & Waler dies

ABOVE: The foal ambulance now based in Bendigo.

THE Victorian Equine Group at Bendigo in Victoria has set up a most important and valuable resource – a foal ambulance.

The project was undertaken with the aim of safely transporting foals to a nearby facility for CT examination and subsequently expanded to be able to take the ambulance and a team to the studs to perform on-farm surgeries.

“The ambulance is equipped with everything you would expect,” a spokesperson for the group said.

“For on-farm surgery, we have an anaesthetic machine, oxygen tanks, a specially designed and constructed surgical table (on which foals can be placed in lateral or dorsal recumbency), an X-ray machine for guided surgery, the necessary power sources, light, appropriate supplies … the works! We think this ambulance will revolutionise the safety and efficiency of these procedures and we are super excited to start taking her out on the road, with our star nurses and vets ready to roll.”


IF the chestnut gelding Pinstriped lines up for the Cox Plate next month he will have dressage fans barracking for him.

His trainer, Enver Jusufovic, credits the horse’s current success to “dressage, dressage ,dressage.”

As a three-year-old the horse was sore, sour and lacked condition, with veterinarians suggesting he had kissing spine and suggesting surgery. His trainer however, chose instead to move him to an equestrian property where he could live outdoors to help get his appetite back up. While there stable rider Linda Williams did the training.

“He just did dressage, dressage and more dressage and it really built him up,” Jusufovic said. Pinstriped’s brilliant win in the Group 2 Feehan Stakes at Moonee Valley has the connections eyeing the Cox Plate trophy and his equestrian fans in full support.


ABOVE: Have you seen this horse?

A 19-YEAR OLD Thoroughbred has been stolen at St Arnaud in Victoria. The theft occurred in the early hours of Friday, September 1, from a property near Charlton Rd. The dark brown gelding is about 16hh, friendly and responds to the name “Beau”.

His branding is capital “W” on the near side and the numbers “17” over “4” on the off.

Anyone with information can contact the St Arnaud Police Station on 5495 1000 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


ANIMAL Care Australia (ACA) has responded to the NSW Government’s consultation over the possible reintroduction of aerial culling of horses in the Kosciuszko National Park.

ACA has opposed aerial culling and instead proposes the NSW Government adopt a “one welfare” model, which recognises that animal welfare, biodiversity and environment are connected to human wellbeing. It proposes the government to establish a multi-faceted environmental centre, Brumby sanctuary and outdoor adventure activities – all open to the public.

It says this centre would manage nature conservation through re-wilding, with a wildlife hospital (and attached veterinary and animal care educational facility), Brumby rehoming centre, museum and tourism outdoor adventure activities, as well as accommodation and dining.

“This centre would solve many of the current conflicts with environmentalists and Brumby advocates, and provide a safe and contained place for the Brumbies to exist and be appreciated, as well as engage with community outreach programs,” ACA said. “Animal Care Australia has a broad model for how this could be funded and established.”


EQUESTRIAN NSW has found it necessary to come out and deny the rumours that Sydney International Equestrian Centre (SEIC) will be sold. In a statement they say: “please note that we have been in touch with staff from the NSW Office of Sport and they have confirmed that there is no truth to the rumours that SIEC has been sold nor is there any intention of doing so”.


WE are used to hearing that Boyd Exell has won an international driving competition, and he did again at the CAIO Baborowko Driving show, but the exciting thing was that Boyd and Tor Van Den Berge combined to place second in a team of eight in the Nations Cup.

Boyd won the class with a team that included two youngsters. Tor was placed eighth driving his team that included two of his Australian-bred Carbery horses in a field of 22 drivers. *

ABOVE: Vale Sand Palm Digger.

ONE of the country’s favorite Waler stallions died this week. Foaled in 1996, Sand Palm Digger (aka Diggy/Boof/Buddy) was an iconic example of the Waler horse and a sire of many top working horses around the country. He was owned by Les and Pauline Prince of Morton Vale in Queensland, who announced his passing on September 9 sparking an outpouring of love from across the Australian Waler community.


THE Australian Carriage Driving Society’s Victorian Branch show panel has introduced high point awards for members to help keep the sport alive at shows throughout Victoria and Australia.

The competition started on September 1 and the last show eligible will be on April 30.

At this early stage they are offering high point awards for four separate sections – light driven, heavy driven, turnout and driver – but they hope to receive many entries so they can split these classes to include special awards for such things as breed, newcomer, encouragement etc. Entry forms and rules are on the Victorian calendar.


SAMONA Blakeley, who won the Tevis Endurance Ride at just 18 on a horse she describes as “mischievous” – has written a book about it called “Chasing Dreams: The True Story of the Youngest Female Tevis Cup Champion”.

“I hope it inspires people that some things aren’t just handed to you, but you really have to work for it,” she said. “But also to set a dream, to have a goal in life — something to work towards, maybe a passion you want to pursue.”

The horse Samona won the ride on was named Goober. His original owners had so much trouble with him that they decided to give him away for free on Craigslist. When Samona and her family discovered him, they couldn’t resist giving him a new home even though he was a gate-opening, rug-ripping pest.

“So much personality,” Samona said. “He’s got personality for three horses bottled up into one. So he’s a character.”

The book is selling for $49.50 through Angus and Robertson.

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