By Bev Jordan
ARTHAS the Arabian foal is one of 44 horses which has found a safe haven at Castle Hill Showground during the deluge. flood
Owner Tanya Hosking from the Tali Equine Lodge in Fairey Rd South Windsor started evacuating horses from the property last Tuesday. The 20 she evacuated included some of her own horses such as Arthas and his mum Hollyford Park and some on agistment.
She also had to evacuate last year because of the flooding.
“It was scary,” she told the Hills to Hawkesbury Community News. “I had 3 horses on my float, 1,500 kilos of horse on my float, the rain was relentless and the stress levels were already high.”
She said trying to negotiate flooded roads and fellow drivers not driving to the conditions increased the stress.
She said everyone just chipped in and helped in “true community spirit” and praised the kindness of strangers since she reached Castle Hill Showground.
“People have been bringing carrots and apples for the horses, and bringing us the basics. People have bought hot food, people have been really great. We have been lucky… we are hoping there’s not too much damage to the property.”
Peta from Quakers Hill went down to Castle Hill Showground and volunteered to help, spending a couple of days helping with the hay nets and just keeping the horses settled and comfortable.
“I grew up in a stud and we had 50 horses. I don’t have any horses at the moment so I really wanted to help out. There is a real sense of community spirit.”
The Castle Hill Showground evacuation centre was set up by Greater Sydney Local Land Services in conjunction with Hills Shire Council.
They had also benefitted from the kindness of strangers checking in on their welfare.
Samantha from Cherrybrook did several trips over several days bringing containers of home-made bolognese and vegetable curry for evacuees and Land Services staff. It was something she did during last year’s flood.
“Food is one of the basic needs we have. If we all contribute what we can it will make a difference. Every drop of water makes the ocean,” she said.
Hills Shire Mayor Peter Gangemi said: “I want to thank the RSPCA and the Greater Sydney Local Land Services for their work at the Showground.
“ I went out there on Thursday to see our ‘real life Noah’s Ark’ and I was just blown away by how many residents I saw there offering help and assistance. Our community is a generous and resilient one, and these kind acts just shows that we will once again get through this tough time.”
He said council crews and contractors worked throughout the weekend to repair potholes, remove fallen trees, and monitored roads for further damage and flooding.
He also thanked the SES, RFS, police, emergency teams and volunteers.
“The Hills SES have received more than 105 calls for assistance, completed over 89 jobs and given out 5000 sandbags in the last few days. This is fantastic work by the SES and everyone else, especially since these emergency and rescue teams have been working non-stop over the last two years without too much of a break, and yet they are back out there, helping those in need. If you see these heroes out and about, please thank them for everything they do and continue to do. “