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By MIRANDA KENNY
SOUTH Australian rodeo is being targeted
by animal liberation extremists to stop it
Since a story about the event -- the Adelaide Hills
Rodeo and Family Fun Day, formerly the Oakbank
Rodeo -- appeared in Stock Journal in March,
organisers have received abusive phone calls and
letters. The rodeo was also the focus of a Facebook
page called Stop the Oakbank Rodeo, which has
since been reported to authorities and taken down.
AHRFFD president Alison Thomas said while
everyone was entitled to their opinion, she
believed the extremists had been aggressive in their
harassment of herself and others.
"There's obviously a really small group, they call
them animal liberation protection extremists, and
they are a little bit aggressive, some would say pas-
sionate, in their opinions -- since we ran the news-
paper article, they ring and abuse me (constantly),"
"I feel like I'm back in high school and I'm the
Ms Thomas said many of the event sponsors had
But rather than having a negative affect on the
Adelaide Hills Rodeo and Family Fun Day
organisers have been targeted by animal
liberation extremists who want the event
• Picture courtesy of Frenchs Rodeo Photos
Major fundraiser already sold out
More than 80 sponsors
Abuse boosts local support
firm on SA rodeo
rodeo, it had instead boosted support.
"I never thought I would say it but it seems
that any publicity is good publicity," she said.
"We have more than 80 sponsors now.
"The support from the local community and
those in the rodeo industry has been genuinely
overwhelming and has kept us going, especial-
ly when these people have been so heartless."
Tickets to the event's major fundraiser, a din-
ner at Lobethal later this month, were sold out.
The committee planned to raise funds to
cover costs -- about $30,000 -- so that all prof-
its raised on the day could go directly to chari-
ty.Ms Thomas said she hoped the event would
raise $50,000 towards local community and
A YouTube video posted under the name of
Animal Liberation SA asked for viewers to
email the Oakbank Racecourse or their local
Adelaide Hills Council to 'politely recommend
they cancel the November rodeo.'
Ms Thomas said the event venue had moved
from Oakbank Racecourse to the Adelaide Hills
Equestrian Centre at Lobethal not because of
harassment, but to reduce costs.
with ZANNIE FLANAGAN ZFLAN
LAST year, I was lucky enough to
visit the Loire Valley for the first-
I had been reading a historical
fiction series during the six months
(seven-book series) before my visit
and I was looking forward to visit-
ing some of the places mentioned
throughout the series.
Known as the playground of
kings, the region is famous, not only
for its wines -- but also for its won-
derful Loire River, known as the
wild river of France.
It wanders unconstrained through
the countryside and passes some of
the most beautiful villages and
chateaux in the country.
We stayed in the little village of
Chennehutte, on the banks of the
Loire, just outside the larger town-
ship of Saumur a little further
After a few days of hiking
through fields of wild thyme and
oregano, we began to take the
beauty of the area a bit for granted,
until we decided to visit one of the
new wave of young vintners my
daughter had heard about.
After about a 30-minute drive,
the landscape began to take on a
completely different feel: it sudden-
ly seemed more industrial and less
well-cared for with unsightly road
signage beginning to blot the view.
It suddenly dawned on us that
we had been cocooned in a
UNESCO World Heritage bubble
and, unknowingly, had ventured
beyond its borders -- and what a
But it did make us realise how
fortunate we are to have areas of
such unspoilt beauty protected for
the enjoyment of future genera-
So having experienced the bene-
fits a World Heritage listing can
have on a region first-hand, the rec-
ommendation to support the pro-
posed bid for UNESCO WHS of the
working agricultural landscape of
Clare, the Adelaide Hills, Barossa
Valley, Mount Barker and Fleurieu --
including McLaren Vale and
Willunga -- is not only timely, but
"World Heritage listing for agri-
cultural landscapes is very rare, and
rarer still for working, evolving agri-
cultural landscapes," said Professor
Stringer, a University of Adelaide
agricultural economist who has had
extensive experience with the
United Nations Food and
"This would not be seen as turn-
ing the ranges into a museum, but
protecting its status as a working,
growing, changing landscape under
local planning control."
If Premier Jay Wetherill is keen on
rebranding our State, what better
way to do so than by leveraging off
one of the world's most respected
and well-established brands.
While it may take up to 10 years
for the vision to become a reality,
the decision to pursue the bid is a
no-brainer. As Prof Stringer says,
WHS has evolved into a widely
respected brand that countries use
to attract tourists and to promote
and add value to their products.
"For me, it all comes down to
answering one question: if we can
get it, why wouldn't we?" he said.
Agrarian landscape? No-brainer!
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