BUSH flagbearer Stan Johnston has heaped praise on the racing community and those associated with it after the rapid response to the Healthy Hoof Appeal.
The appeal has been complemented by Racing Queensland’s Flood and Cyclone Assistance Fund as many trainers and several tracks try to recover after the devastation of Cyclone Debbie.
The RQ Fund has already raised $130,000, with a host of wagering partners getting behind the initiative. Additionally, the Brisbane Racing Club will run a Charity Auction on April 29 to help raise more funds.
Johnston and the Queensland Breeders’ Association moved swiftly to establish the Healthy Hoof Appeal in a bid to limit the potential of serious foot disease which wet conditions can often bring on.
“We had Mackay, Proserpine and Bowen done three days after the cyclone,” Johnston said.
“The horses were standing in water. It was no good at all. So it was a matter of urgency to get that done.
“Rocky was a bit different. They had plenty of warning and time to get out. Mackay had nowhere to go and it was a real animal welfare issue so we had to act swiftly and thanks to the generous support of many people, we were able to make sure they had dry bedding as quickly as possible.
“That’s not to say the Rocky people aren’t hurting. Their horses were never in danger but there’s a lot of hardship there and we’re on to that now.”
Johnston initially set out to raise $30,000 and made that target comfortably, with $10,000 now being distributed in Rockhampton.
Beaudesert, Mackay, Rockhampton (both thoroughbred and greyhound clubs) and Bowen were categorised as having “extreme” damage in the wake of Cyclone Debbie, while Gladstone, Calliope, Bundaberg and Capalaba received minor damage.
THERE’S a host of race meetings across the state to get the heart racing this weekend.
Stakes race action kicks off in Brisbane, but further afield, Yeppoon will hold its annual $10,000 Cup on Saturday.
Kilcoy and Chinchilla will also host $10,000 feature races, while in Winton, the $9000 Cloncurry Mustang Open headlines proceedings
Originally published as Queensland spirit shines through Debbie
SOURCE: newsnow sport