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Rehoming & Education Initiatives

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Gay3 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 Sep 2016 at 4:25pm
Craiglea Stud
22 hrs ·

Stan is on his way West with a special delivery. The weather has cleared up and some lucky retired race horses are on their way to their new forever homes. Alongside the Craiglea gallopers are horses donated by Les Ross and Ron Cameron. These horses will be given a new lease on life as they meet their new owners, the children of Longreach School of Distance Education. Assisting Stan on this trip is Olivia, Prue and John.

We are really proud of this initiative because we are both supporting the kids of the drought while rehoming retired racehorses. These horses will live long and happy lives growing up with these children. We are providing another avenue of making sure thoroughbreds are given second lives following retirement from the track.

We were privileged to have the Boyd family come and visit us today. Springdale station in Aramac will be the new home for Craiglea Citi with his excited young owners Jamie and Bella (photo). It sounds like the gelding will be busy with 5000 head of cattle to muster.

Craiglea Stud would like to thank everyone who has helped bring this initiative to fruition. To everyone who donated horses, gear and medical supplies. A special mention must go to John Pointon for all the hard work he has put in towards the cause.

To all the kids who are eagerly waiting for their new ponys to arrive. They are on their way!

Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2016 at 6:12pm
A bit more detail here:

Former race horses donated to drought affected families in Queensland

Lydia Burton, Wednesday September 14, 2016 - 14:30 EST
ABC image
Six-year-old Bronte Brown from Marchmont station near Ilfracombe was ecstatic about meeting her new horse Coco. - ABC
A thoroughbred breeder from Queensland's Sunshine Coast has donated former racehorses to families in the state's drought affected west.

The horses from Craiglea Stud, whose racing days are over, have been re-trained to be stock horses.

Craiglea's Stan Johnston has been the driving force behind the donation of eight horses that will now call western Queensland home.

Mr Johnston said he wanted to donate them to families who have suffered through years of drought.

"We were going to bring the horses out a lot earlier but it was too dry, but now it has rained we can really get into it," he said.

Mr Johnston said he gets joy out of seeing the horses he has bred, trained and raced adopted by loving families.

"We used to give them to other trainers but now we think we would prefer to give them to students like this that need horses," he said.

"We have bought horses out that have either been a bit slow or they have little injuries that won't affect them being stock horses or show ponies but they are not racing propositions, but some are very good horses.

"These horses are people horses, they have been licking the kids and nudging them.

"We get a lot of satisfaction out of doing this."

The eight horses have been given to families who have children enrolled in the Longreach School of Distance Education.

The horses have been spread out across western Queensland with one horse going as far north as Richmond, while another is heading to Windorah in the far south west.

Families overwhelmed by generosity

For Julie Brown from Marchmont station near Ilfracombe said a new horse was a wonderful gift after her family lost their pet horses during the drought.

"We had two very old horses, a 23 and 24-year-old so we fed them for 18 months but then you get to that hard decision where it is difficult to justify to keep feeding them so we made that difficult decision," she said.

"We haven't had horses since last year, so this is just an out of the blue wonderful thing to have happen.

"Horses can be really expensive and it probably wouldn't be something that we would say 'OK we are going to get a horse as soon as we get some grass'.

"So for someone else to gift a horse to us, that is just amazing, it is an incredible gesture and I can't believe Stan is doing this for families out here.

"Even though it is a lot of work to have horses it is a wonderful thing for a family to be able to do together."

Ongoing support for west

Mr Johnston has been a regular, and generous, visitor to western Queensland during the drought.

"We have a real affinity with the west, I have won three Longreach Cups and the Blackall Cup and the Tree of Knowledge Cup," he said.

"We raced out here regularly in the old days so we definitely have an affinity with the west.

"You just want to try to lift their spirits as much as you can."

Working with the Longreach School of Distance Education, he's run several appeals and dug deep into his own pockets to help out.

"We have bought hay out and with the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA) we have provided 150 iPads for the Longreach School of Distance Education," he said.

"I think one of the best initiatives is the money that everyone has put into Foodworks because that has been very successful, I think it is over $40,000 we have put in there now."

Mr Johnston acknowledged that there was still a need for support even though there had been some rain.

"The rain has been terrific, but they will still need the food and everything but I think they will get a lot of enjoyment out of the horses.

"They [the graziers] have got to keep getting some rain we know that, but we are going to bring some more horses out as soon as we get some more, we will enjoy that."

Supporting local businesses as well as grazing families

Mr Johnston also donated saddles, bridles and bundles of horse gear that he bought from the family-run Longreach saddlery.

Owner Jayne Owen said the purchases have been a massive boost to her family's business, which has also felt the effects of the long-running dry.

"It means a lot to us that people from out of town are being so generous, that they still want to help support the local businesses as part of being generous to local families.

"It is very important [that people support local stores] but having said that you have to realise not all donations can be bought locally.

"So we are very appreciative that they have supported our business at a time like this."

Ben Spackman, a 14-year-old from Patrisha Downs near Ilfracombe, is now the proud owner of Limerick Star.

"I wanted to take my riding skills and riding efforts to the next level and I think this one [horse] is going to take me all the way I reckon.

"Stan has been generous enough to come out to the school and donate horses that probably don't mean much to him [in that they can no longer race] but they can mean a lot to us.

"I feel pretty lucky, pretty fortunate really.

"I mean I have been saving up for a while now to try and get my own saddle, but now I can save for something else."
Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Nov 2016 at 3:01pm
Belinda Carter to Jean Purcell

I visited a minimum security jail in the Hunter Valley yesterday to see their TB retraining program. Super impressive with 45 horses at any one time in work.
Certainly creating purpose for both horses and inmates.

Didn't even feel like a jail, the inmates were just so engrossed in their horses.

Highest price sold was $20k for one of the horses post retraining 🙂

Ex-soldiers, inmates and thoroughbreds benefit from jail horse program

1233 ABC Newcastle Giselle Wakatama

Hundreds of former race horses have graduated from St Heliers rehabilitation program.

Hundreds of former race horses have graduated from St Heliers rehabilitation program.


A thoroughbred retraining program involving Hunter Valley prison inmates appears to be going from strength to strength.

Since the program started five years ago, hundreds of horses have gone to Muswellbrook's St Heliers Correctional Centre, where they have been paired with inmates.

It is part of Racing New South Wales' Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Program, with horses going on to have eventing and dressage careers.

Spokesman Charles Moon said it had been a great success.

"As an industry we are lucky to see our equine athletes every day in New South Wales, but when they come to a decision of retirement, there is an opportunity to say, look the horses aren't just going to go to the paddock," he said.

"You know there is a second career, and working with Corrective Services NSW and especially with the joint venture program we have with them, it just provides an opportunity to work with some good people and to work with committed horse people."

Benefits for horse and rider

The thoroughbred retraining program at the Hunter Valley jail has been lauded for helping horse and rider.

Mr Moon said there had been enormous benefits for everyone involved.

"This program allows both horse and human the benefits of a second career and a second chance," he said

"It is amazing that each horse will have their own personality, and that is the same with humans, and doing this retraining and career work where they can learn some new skills, they are allowed that individual flair.

"They are suited to particular second careers, and when there are inmates themselves who are looking for a second chance after making a mistake in their earlier days, horse can bring out that possibility for them."

Horses helping ex-soldiers with PTSD

The program is also playing a role in helping ex-Australian soldiers to recover from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It involves pairing horses with emotionally-damaged ex-solders at the program's Sydney base at Canterbury Racecourse.

"It is amazing the way that an animal won't judge a human. An animal will work with any human," Mr Moon said.

"The Australian infantry has just had decades of association with horses, and so to work with charities, especially those with PTSD, is something that we would really be encouraging our program to grow to."

The program comes at a time when there is mounting pressure to curb so-called wastage in the horse racing industry.

Wastage, involving the killing of slow dogs, was part of the reason the NSW Government banned greyhound racing.

It has prompted animal welfare groups to call for more strategies to cut wastage in horse racing.

Racing NSW said every effort was made to ensure horses had a future beyond their racing years.

Hundreds of horses have graduated from rehabilitation program.

Photo Retired racehorses are put through their paces.

Edited by Gay3 - 22 Nov 2016 at 3:03pm
Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 2016 at 12:23pm
St Helliers also do most of their farm work with Clydesdales. 
If I was to get sent to The Nick, that would be my dream place to go.  
animals before people.
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