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CFA horse lovers volunteer to help at Equitana
As official community partner of EQUITANA Melbourne 2016, the largest equine showcase in the Southern Hemisphere, CFA will focus on helping horse owners prepare and plan for the upcoming bushfire season.
Peter Bailey, captain of Goomalibee & Upotipotpon Fire Brigade outside Benalla, was one of the first CFA members to put up his hand to volunteer his time to promote fire safety at Equitana.
Peter has been a CFA volunteer for more than 30 years and with his wife Mary, an experienced horse breeder of some 40 years, they own Rhyl Riding Pony Stud, where they have bred multiple Grand Champions and Royal winning ponies.
Mary is the daughter of thoroughbred breeder, Carl Powell, who ran the renowned Hunter Valley stud, Brooklyn Lodge, where he worked with Australia’s most famous trainer, Tommy Woodcock.
When he is not at work or fulfilling CFA commitments, Peter can often be found “helping Mary out on the farm - cleaning, fencing and general maintenance”. He will be on hand at Equitana to help educate people about actions to take to ensure their horses have the best possible chance of surviving a bush or grassfire. And that is to -
“Have a plan in place,” Peter said.
“Be aware of the little things that can save your horses during the hot fire season.”
An information sheet will be available at the CFA stand to help people start considering what they need to do to prepare a safe place for their horses.
Horses are quite good at avoiding bushfire if two conditions are met:
- they are given enough room to move freely in a large open space
- there is minimal vegetation in the large open space.
It is important not to lock horses in a stable, and Peter said he had seen the results of horses kept in small areas with no space to escape during the Black Saturday fires.
At his own property, “the paddocks have fire breaks in place and areas are kept clean and tidy. All horses are kept in paddocks with minimal vegetation and horses are not stabled over the summer (Fire Hazard) season.”
On Sunday 20 November, Peter will be joined by his daughter Emmerson, junior secretary of the Benalla Junior Fire Brigade on the CFA stand in the John Deere Pavillion.
Be sure to come along and have a chat and take away some vital fire safety information, including a handy emergency kit pocket checklist, so you can start prearing for the summer fire season now.
Learn more about Equitana here.