The first week of September promised a fresh start to more than just spring, with Paul Harragon and the Tooheys New Crew giving former racehorses the best chance to fresh start in a new career.
Until now, the facilities at the Canterbury stables were certainly functional; however a lot of time was lost over the winter months due to wet weather. The Tooheys New Crew stepped in to offer their help, and were able to provide a brand new undercover arena in a previously dilapidating block of stables, as well as improving drainage in the existing arena and around the stabling facilities.
The week long project brought together people from many parts of both the racing and local community, and with the passion and determination of those involved, a fantastic new facility was established.
Rugby league legend Paul ‘The Chief’ Harragon, who heads the Tooheys New Crew in helping out various communities and mates in completing local building projects heard the plight of the Trust and jumped at the chance to get involved.
“The racing industry and their passion about the horses really struck me, and this is our first real specific project in helping out animals” Harragon said. “It’s so great to see so many different types of people from all aspects of the industry pull together to achieve this.”
The real winners of this project are most certainly the former thoroughbred racehorses. Racing NSW’s Thoroughbred Retraining Manager Scott Brodie believes that with the new facilities, more horses will be able to receive dedicated re-education from his team all year round, allowing more retired thoroughbreds to pass through the program.
Paul Harragon echoed Brodie’s sentiments, saying “I like to think now you can get on with the business of rehabilitating thoroughbreds and helping to raise the percentage of the number of horses you can save with the news facilities here.”
In an official unveiling on a windy Friday afternoon, Paul Harragon passed the new facilities back over to the Trust, represented by Scott Brodie and Racing NSW’s CEO Peter V’landys. Other important guests attended to support the handover and congratulate the initiative included Ray Williams, MP member for Hawkesbury and Stuart Ayres, MP member for Penrith. Supporters from the Racing industry included Leading Sydney Jockeys Hugh Bowman and Nathan Berry, as well as former jockey Malcolm Johnston.
The NSW Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Trust would to thank their sponsors, the Australian Stud Book, Thoroughbred Breeders NSW, Inglis and Racing NSW for their donation towards purchasing building materials. Also many thanks to the volunteers and supporters who helped complete the project, including students from TAFE WSI, staff and materials from Darley and the HTBA, and friends and family who came to offer their skills and hard labour.
Sponsors of the Tooheys New Crew project
This project would not have been possible without the generous donations from the following sponsors: