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| Uncategorized | March 24, 2015

It’s been a big 7 days for for Goldie this week – branded, rug on for the first time and her first tetanus/strangles shot. All essential steps in handling your foal!


Don’t forget daily contact and work helps a lot! Where are you up to with educating your youngsters?

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| Uncategorized | February 26, 2015

When do you start working with your foals? As soon as possible. Beware cranky foals who may be aggressive. A barrier between you and the foal may be needed when starting out with these ones. I try to avoid using crush type restrictions if possible but sometimes you have no choice or you’ll get hurt.

Pushing Boundaries 5-11-13

Try to keep at the foal’s height so as not to scare them off and watch out for any sudden moves. Be ready to move away quickly so as not to get hurt. They may look cute but at this stage you don’t know what’s going to upset them or what their temperament is like. Arguably foals are the most dangerous age as you don’t know them yet or how they will respond to different circumstances and situations. Like us they are all individuals and have different likes, dislikes and tolerances.

My mares do not foal down at home as my closest “breeding” vet (as opposed to general vet or racehorse vet) are at least 45 minutes away if I have a problem. Also my mares are usually going to be mated to a stallion in the same season so they spend the season near the stallion(s) they will be covered by.

I try to visit my mares as soon as possible after they have foaled to start to get to know the foal and make sure that all is good with the foal.

I bring the mares and foals home as soon as possible after they have had their 45 day test and I start working with the foals and getting them to get to know me. I try to work with them on a daily basis and well before they are weanlings. Getting to know you while they are still with Mum gives them a bit of security. Mum can be some protection for you too if the foal is aggressive. Weaning is very stressful and imposing yourself on your weanling for the first time as a weanling can often mean that they may be wary of and hostile to you. They are also more likely to hurt themselves.

Depending on temperament and time, I will try to get a headstall on them fairly quickly. In recent years I’ve spent more time just hanging out with the foals and getting them used to me and to being groomed etc. before putting a headstall on. This year I was able to groom Goldie all over and pick up all her feet before putting a headstall on her and the only trouble I had was sizing the headstall correctly.

If you leave it a bit longer then you’ll need something bigger than a foal slip!  A range of sizes is a good idea. I put a pony size on which was too big but was small enough to allow me to get something on without a problem and then I was able to put on a smaller headstall without any problem at all.

A simple headstall with a headband and noseband that undoes at the front is best for a first go. Headstalls with nosebands that do not undo are not ideal as a first headstall nor are the ones that do up underneath the jaw – TOO COMPLICATED when trying to get a first headstall on.

Once the headstall is on I find foals are easier to get on with and you can start teaching them to lead. I find gentle constant pressure released as soon as the foal moves forward so they get to understand that forward movement releases the pressure works to start with.



Here is a not wonderful photo of Goldie with her headstall on. Done easily a few weeks ago before she was weaned. She seems happy with it and has not tried to get it off. She is leading nicely now as well.



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| Uncategorized | February 24, 2015

NSW urged to ban new coal mines in the Hunter Valley on health and climate grounds

Renowned former Nasa climate scientist James Hansen among signatories of letter to the government calling for halt to mining expansion.

Former Nasa climate scientist James Hansen has joined 21 other academics to urge the New South Wales government to ban new coal mines in the Hunter Valley, saying mining is putting residents’ health at risk.

In a pre-election salvo, a letter to NSW premier Mike Baird raises concerns about health impacts from air pollution, degradation of underground water and soil and the resulting “dangerous changes” to Australia’s climate due to the release of greenhouse gases.

The letter states: “The health of the community and the social and environmental values of the Hunter Valley are being damaged by the increasing coal production in the region.

“People’s health is at risk from declining air quality associated with coal mining, transportation and combustion. The illnesses and deaths associated with air pollution from coal in the region are potentially costing taxpayers millions of dollars each year.

“It is time to begin to phase out coal production in the Hunter Valley and begin a transition to a safer, healthier, and secure economic future.”

The letter is signed by Hansen, who is considered one of the first scientists to highlight the issue of climate change through his testimony to US Congress in the 1980s, along with former Australians of the year Fiona Stanley and Tim Flannery.

An accompanying report by the Climate and Health Alliance, a coalition of 28 health groups that are concerned about climate change, calculates that the health damage caused by the Hunter Valley’s five coal-fired power stations costs the economy $600m a year.

This figure, estimated by Economists at Large, is based on the health costs and lost productivity from respiratory problems, such as asthma, and cardiac issues caused by coal dust particles released into the atmosphere.

Air quality monitors in the Hunter Valley picked up 118 breaches of the safe national standard for PM10, a type of fine particle that can cause ill health when absorbed, in 2013. Such air pollution has been clearly linked to adverse health overseas but, the report admits, no comprehensive study of the impact of coal mining on health in the Hunter Valley has been conducted.

The Climate and Health Alliance said the NSW government and the opposition Labor party should commit to halting any new coal projects in the Hunter Valley. NSW goes to the polls on 28 March.

The Hunter Valley is now home to two thirds of NSW’s coal production, with 31 coal mines and five coal-fired power stations pumping out an estimated 145m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

There are 21 new mines or mine extensions proposed for the Hunter, meaning emissions would rise to 243m tonnes if they went ahead.

“The decision to continue the expansion of coal is flawed for many reasons, one being the strong association between living near coal mines and a variety of health impacts,” said Liz Hanna, an ANU academic and president of the Climate and Health Alliance.

“The huge subsidies given to the mining industry are immoral and the economic benefit for a small few, which are sacrificing the health and livelihoods of people, is not even justified given that coal is an outmoded energy source.

“The Hunter Valley was once beautiful and pristine, it was green and lush with clean air. It’s a shameful disgrace to sacrifice this beautiful area for a toxic industry.”

Hanna said there would be “cascading health impacts” if coal mining was allowed to expand in the Hunter, predicting that politicians who backed this growth “will not be rewarded at the ballot box”.

Wendy Bauman, a farmer who lives in the small town of Camberwell, 90km from Newcastle, said the community was concerned about the health ramifications of mining.

“I am surrounded by mines here, the nearest open cut mine is just 1km from me,” she said. “The biggest issue is the air pollution which is absolutely horrendous, it gets inside your house and we breath it in. I’ve had a CT scan and I’ve lost 20% of my lung function and I’ve got dust in my lungs.

“The other problem is the water. We live on the driest inhabited continent on Earth, so water is critical. The Hunter river is so polluted now.”

Bauman said she had to give up dairy farming due to the negative impact of coal dust upon her business.

Earlier this month, Rio Tinto’s Bengella Mine extension project was approved. The mine is 4km from the Hunter Valley town of Muswellbrook and will be able to mine an additional 15m tonnes of coal a year for 24 years. It is estimated this expansion will provide about 900 jobs and $778m in state royalties.

Last week, both the NSW Coalition government and Labor opposition voiced support for the mining industry. The parties said they supported a reduction in the time it took to assess mining projects, in order to deliver jobs and investment more rapidly.


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| Uncategorized | January 22, 2015


Don’t forget to put your mare returns in for your youngsters! many will be late and cost more now but don’t let your mares get dropped from the Stud Book.

Most missed mare returns can go in now too.

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| Uncategorized | January 12, 2015

Thank you to everyone who has liked us on Facebook. We are now well over the 1500 likes mark!IMG_1102

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Never underestimate a pain in a horse’s tum

| Uncategorized | January 9, 2015

No matter what age, young or old, if your horse is looking restless and uncomfortable in any way call the vet.

Time is of the essence and can mean the difference between the horse surviving or not.

Horses cannot vomit so any pain in the tum can be serious.

Unfortunately sometimes these things happen in the middle of the night and nothing can be done. Your horse is fine when you check before going to bed but in can be a different story in the morning as happened to me today.

My Excites yearling colt was fine and cheeky last night but this morning he was writhing in pain and could not be saved

How many top stallions have been lost to colic? Only a few weeks ago High Chapparral was another top stallion lost.

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| Uncategorized | December 23, 2014


My Next Winner wishes all youngsters a very Merry Christmas and hopes that you all become winners!

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| Uncategorized | December 4, 2014

The very disturbing news this week is that Anglo American is about to re-submit another proposal to extend the South Drayton Mine thus renewing the threat to Coolmore and Darley studs in particular.

Whilst the Environmental Assessment and Planning Act 1979 does not allow appeals there does not appear to be anything to stop Anglo American from submitting a new application especially if there are changes and revisions to the application that was rejected. Even if the Act provided that the same application could not be resubmitted, this would not prevent a changed or revised application from being submitted. The changes and revisions to the old application would make it a new application.

Whilst Anglo American complain that 500 jobs will be lost, many thousands of jobs will be lost in the Thoroughbred breeding industry and the wine growing industry if the mine is allowed to be extended. The life of the extended mine is only 20 years as opposed to an infinite lifetime of breeding thoroughbreds and growing grapes.

Once the mine is extinguished there will be another ugly unusable hole in the ground where there was once prime agricultural land and the jobs will ultimately be lost anyway.

What’s being done to find clean renewable energy sources that can create jobs and leave agricultural land alone?

A look at the Planning and Assessment Commission website indicates that the application has not been made yet but Anglo American has clearly announced its intention to lodge a new application.

So get your petitions ready and start planning your rallies to protest against this ongoing threat. Christmas may have to be put on the back burner this year so that our stud farms and livelihoods are preserved.


Is this how we want our Thoroughbred studs to look in the future?


open cut mine


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| Uncategorized | November 9, 2014

  The Melbourne Cup was marred this year by the death of two horses, Admire Rakti and Araldo. Both were tragic but the death of Araldo was completely preventable and totally unnecessary. The incident highlights the need to remember that horses are flight animals and that they will shy at anything sudden or different. Even at home they will look askance if something has changed.

The directors and administration of race clubs should either have or consult experts on horse behaviour. Horses at big meetings with big crowds are likely to be very apprehensive and stressed already without the addition of sudden movements or things being waved around near them without warning. The VRC has responded by limiting the size of flags but even waving a small item in close proximity to a horse is likely to upset the horse. All race clubs, both city and country, need to consider safety protocols for horses and people to ensure that a similar incident does not happen again. A second fence set back a few metres is one thought. It was lucky that no person was injured or killed in the incident. Had Araldo kicked out or up he may have kicked the child and caused serous injury to the child as well as the fatal traumatic injury which he sustained.
Has anyone seen or experienced a tragic and avoidable incident such as this at any race course?

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