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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Briefs: 'Patto' lame, tragic fire, watch Quilty finish and an old foe returns

JOHN Patterson, known Australia-wide simply as Patto, is in hospital with a broken hip.

The family of the much-loved former Clerk of the Course at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne reports he is determined to get home soon, but doctors and nurses have other ideas. *

APPLICATIONS are now open for membership of the Wild Horse Community Advisory Panel, which was established under the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act 2018.

The panel will provide advice to the Minister and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service on matters relating to the identification of the heritage value, and the management of, sustainable wild horse populations within Kosciuszko National Park.

Further information and application forms are available on the Department of Planning and Environment’s advisory committees page. Applications close on July 27.


A DOZEN horses have died at a harness racing facility following a stable fire overnight at Forbes, west of Kilmore in Victoria.

Police said the resident of the Lancefield-Kilmore Rd property heard what sounded like popping noises at about 12.30am before going outside to investigate. Several horses were able to be retrieved from the burning stables but 12 horses died in the blaze.

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) officials attended the property. “This is obviously a very sad time for the participants involved and for the wider industry who care deeply for their horses,” HRV chief executive Dayle Brown said.


THE Tom Quilty Gold Cup has been run and won at Tooraweenah NSW

The Gold Cup traditionally goes to the first heavyweight or middleweight division competitor to successfully complete the 160km ride and this year it was shared by Tahlia Franke on Castlebar Bazaar and Kristie Taprell on Castlebar Roulette. They crossed the line holding hands. Both horses were bred by Meg Wade.

The 160km lightweight division winner was Pam Karner riding Flamingo Saphire and the heavyweight winner was Roy Barsby on Dumaresq Suleiman.

The junior division joint winners were Lara Duff on Box Hill Pegasus and Charlie Bonham on Box Hill Sapphire. (

(Video of Gold Cup winners courtesy of Sioux Reid)


VALE : Alice Le Souef (Auntie Alice) has passed away peacefully at age 88 years after a short illness. Alice was a successful show and dressage rider who enjoyed competing, but enjoyed her many lessons with wonderful instructors even more. She rode under greats such as Anton Nissan at Oakwood and Nuno Olivera and Franz Mairinger when they were in Australia.

Alice’s two most notable horses were Strauss, whom she placed second on in the Garryowen in the early 1970s, and Aries her Anglo-Arab who she competed on in dressage at the highest level. She was much loved by husband Bruce, who passed mid-2021, son Peter, daughter in law Sandi, and grandchildren Nikki, Tim and Jamie. (Courtesy Equestrian Memories Australia)


HENDRA has raised its ugly head again with a recent confirmed case of the virus in central Queensland. Veterinarians say it is a timely reminder of the importance of protecting horses against this serious disease, stating the registered vaccine helps prevent Hendra virus disease in horses. It is the most effective way to help manage the disease and it also reduces the risk of transmission to people and other susceptible animals.


OVERSEAS, Australians, Kevin McNab and Vidalgo had a win in the CCI3*-S competition at IENA, the National Equestrian Centre in Avenches, Switzerland.

At Spruce Meadows in the US in the famous Queen Elizabeth II Cup, showjumper Rowan Willis and his mare Blue Movie, better known as Carrots, finished fourth, Katie and Jackson Laurie’s Django II finished sixth and James Arkins and Eurostar I finished eighth.


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