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Beanies initiative to benefit horse-care properties

As part of an ongoing equine welfare program, money raised via an SA racing stable’s beanies initiative will go towards helping to care for three mares recently surrendered to the RSPCA.

McEvoy Mitchell Racing teamed up with Thoroughbred Racing South Australia (TRSA) in July to launch the beanies initiative, aimed at benefiting TRSA’s newly created equine welfare arm.

From every McEvoy Mitchell-branded beanie sold, $10 has been donated to TRSA’s welfare strategy, with the current total sitting at $4390 (439 beanies).

The three mares – aged 20, 13 and 8 respectively – were surrendered to the RSPCA from a property in Nairne, with the help of TRSA equine welfare officer John Cornell.

The trio are now in the care of the Mount Torrens-based Windamere Horse Haven Association, one of two horse-care properties – together with the Lincoln Park Horse and Human Rehabilitation Centre, at Monarto – Mr Cornell said are “doing wonderful work with horses in need of care”.

“We’re rapt to strike up a partnership with these two facilities, which are both on the same page as us regarding thoroughbred welfare and an ongoing commitment to the welfare of the horse,” Mr Cornell said.

Windamere’s David Mews welcomed the partnership with TRSA.

“It’s good that TRSA is taking life-after-racing welfare so seriously for thoroughbreds via this program,” Mr Mews said.

“Probably about 80 per cent of the horses we get are ex-racehorses, either thoroughbreds or standardbreds.”

The program has also been praised by Lincoln Park’s Sonya Little.

“I think it’s great,” she said.

“We use a lot of ex-racehorses here for our equine therapy program and it’s just nice to see that there’s something for them beyond racing as well.”

A partnership between TRSA and Hygain Feeds – forged on a shared commitment to caring for thoroughbreds both during and beyond their racetrack careers – will see Hygain provide care for horses housed at either facility as part of the scheme.

That commitment per horse is:

  • $150 fodder voucher from TRSA and $50 fodder voucher from Hygain.
  • Ulcer guard veterinary treatment (valued at $160 per horse).

Mr Cornell said the program would provide vital financial support.

“As part of this program, TRSA, with the help of Hygain, will provide financial assistance towards veterinary care and nutrition for horses that are no longer adequately cared for,” he said.

“Any thoroughbreds found in this situation and moved to either of these two properties will gain financial assistance to progress to their next stage.”

The premiership-winning McEvoy Mitchell operation – based in the Barossa – approached TRSA with the idea, sparked by its ongoing commitment to animal welfare and its long association with Mr Cornell, who worked at the stable for many years.

“We’ve only done one run (of the beanies), but they were hugely popular – everyone wanted one of them,” Mr Tillett said.

“So we thought that we could sell them, and any profit margin we make can go directly to horse welfare in South Australia.”

The Windamere Horse Haven Association has rehomed over 200 horses since being established in 2013 and Mr Mews said the facility currently has 14 horses in its care.

“We had 15, but one got officially adopted yesterday,” Mr Mews said.

“That’s what makes it all worthwhile. You go through a lot of blood, sweat and tears, first at getting them surrendered and then rehoming them.”

Anyone interested in supporting Windamere should visit their website ( or Facebook page.

To support Lincoln Park Horse and Human Rehabilitation Centre – which currently has 34 horses in its care – visit their Facebook page.

To purchase one of the 150 remaining beanies, CLICK HERE.

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