Home' Smart Farmer : May 2010 Contents MAY, 2010
HORSE owners are being encouraged to
take precautionary measures against
potential disease risks posed by small
colonies of grey-headed flying foxes (fruit
bats), recently sighted in South Australia.
Some flying foxes in Queensland and
northern New South Wales are known to
carry the virus, which can affect horses and
people. To date, there is no evidence that
Hendra virus is present in SA.
PIRSA Biosecurity chief veterinary officer
Rob Rahaley says if horse owners see flying
foxes on or near their properties they should
avoid contact and report the sighting to DEH
on 08 8336 0926.
"Hendra virus is an extremely uncommon
virus but can cause fatal disease in people
and horses," Dr Rahaley said.
"The risk of infection is extremely low but
we are encouraging horse owners to take a
few simple precautions to minimise contact
between the flying foxes and horses."
The following precautionary steps are
• Place feed and water containers under
cover, if possible, and not under trees,
particularly if flying-foxes are in your locality.
• If possible, remove horses from
paddocks where trees have attracted flying-
foxes, or at least during times of peak flying-
fox activity -- usually at dusk or during the
• Do not use feed that might attract flying
foxes, eg fruit, vegetables or anything sweet,
such as molasses.
• Wash your hands regularly during and
after handling multiple horses.
• Keep any sick horses isolated from other
horses, people and animals until you have
obtained a veterinary opinion.
In horses, neurological signs (including
abnormal muscle twitching, weakness and
loss of balance) and respiratory signs (nasal
discharge, coughing, breathing difficulty) are
common but are not always seen.
Other symptoms include acute onset
illness, not eating, discomfort and increased
heart rate and body temperature.
If horse owners suspect their horses have
any of these symptoms they should contact
their private veterinary practitioner
immediately, particularly if the horse has
been recently transported (within three
weeks) into SA from Queensland or NSW.
Protect our horses from Hendra virus
Although the likelihood of
Hendra virus spreading to
SA is remote, horse
owners are encouraged to
be vigilant. Particular care
should be taken when
moving animals from
interstate, as is often the
case with top competition
Need to know more:
contact Mary Carr, PIRSA Biosecurity - Animal
Health on (08) 8207 7872.
Young riders, horses
show emerging talent
BY JULIE PAUL
PROMISING young riders and horses are
coming to the fore in eventing circles,
with the season in full swing.
Mountain Pony Club, Mount Barker,
was the training ground for talented
rider Jaimie Stichel, and readers may
remember her success in the
showjumping arena with Scotch Mist
and Scotch And Dry. Jaimie has now
turned her hand to eventing, with
excellent results to date.
In her past two starts, at the Panurgem
Grand Cru trials and Kirkcaldy Park State
championships, she has finished second
and first respectively, each time riding
Pentonville Grove in the CNC one-star.
On both occasions she has led after the
dressage phase and has gone clear across
country, with only a few time penalties
and a single showjumping rail down
marring otherwise faultless
Jaimie is also competing with Practice
Makes Perfect at Pre Novice and one-star
levels, and is bringing on Image Blue Ice
and Image Look My Way in Introductory.
She is certainly one to keep an eye on
for the future.
Talent is emerging in the ranks of
young horses also. Megan Jones is having
increasing success with Westbury Park
Irish Grove, owned by Rodney and
Nadyne Schipp of Mt Gambier. After
finishing fourth in the CIC two-star at
the Australian International Horse trials
last year, he has continued to improve,
with first and second placings at Grand
Cru and Kirkcaldy Park. He is likely to
upgrade to three-star level soon and, at
only eight years old, has a bright future.
Megan is also beginning to campaign
her five-year-old Kirby Park Irish
Empress. Home-bred by Kirby Park
Nantamboo, the striking-looking chestnut
mare with white face and legs has only
been in gentle work for 12 months,
stepping up a bit late last year and is
now competing at Introductory and
Preliminary levels. She is showing a
tonne of scope and promise, with an
excellent win on her dressage score at
Kirkcaldy Park. Another of Megan's
youngsters, Kirby Park Irish Tom, finished
Wendy Schaeffer is now eventing Sun
Showers, after showjumping her
successfully for the past few months.
Sun Showers, a full sister to Lord Of
The Sun, is a five-year-old and placed
third in the one-star at Kirkcaldy Park.
At the other end of the age scale, Ben
Jolley's 'oldie but goodie', BR Steiger,
now 17 years old, had an impressive win
in the Strathalbyn Showjumping Club's
President's Cup. Six clear rounds ensured
an exciting jump-off against the clock,
with Ben and Steiger running out
winners from Matt Afford on Kaluna
Thunderstruck and the superb Belcam
Gambler, ridden by Michelle Clark, in
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