Rescue of 12 ponies as paddocks flood

Published 8:38am 23 March 2021

Rescue of 12 ponies as paddocks flood
Words by Kylie Knight

A Deception Bay woman has spoken of a desperate bid to rescue her 12 ponies from rising floodwaters and says the herd’s ‘alfa male’ was the hero of the hour. She now needs help to keep her business going.

Helen and Scott Paddon’s business Party Hooves is based at their home at Bancroft Tce, Deception Bay.

Of their 11 acres, just one is not covered by floodwater which rose very quickly late Sunday afternoon. Since Sunday, they’ve had 300mm of rain.

“We’ve never seen it rise that fast. I dropped my daughter at a sleepover at 4pm and by 5pm the paddocks were under water,” she says.

They managed to get most of the horses over, but had some trouble coaxing two young ones.

“A couple got stuck in the back paddock, they were young horses who didn’t know what to do,” Helen recalls.

“The alfa of the herd was calling out to them to come over.”

That same horse, aptly called Bossy, also helped Helen and Scott move the other 10 horses.

He’s a 15-year-old former trotting horse.

“He led the majority of the herd over. He was in the middle, pushing the pack. He was using his body to push the herd and did some head throwing to use his dominance,” she says.

“Once they were over the easement crossing, he took the lead through the fast-flowing water and they just followed him through.”

All the horses are safe and well, on higher ground closer to the house.

“I’m just glad I didn’t mow, otherwise there wouldn’t be enough grass to feed them,” Helen says.

Call for help

The couple has lost about $200,000 in personal and business equipment including saddles, bridles, feed and rugs.

They have lived on the property for four years, but only started their business in August.

At this stage, their main earner – a school holiday camp over Easter – is in doubt.

Helen is not confident her insurance claim will be settled, and paid in time, and is upset about disappointing the children who have booked. Some are on the NDIS and rely on horse therapy sessions.

The camp was due to start on April 6.

She is hoping someone might be able to loan them equipment, so it can go ahead.

In the meantime, they will be anxiously watching the weather.

“It will be a copy and paste of the last 48 hours. We’re not going to get much sleep because it’s meant to be worse today. We’ll have to see what comes through,” she says.

If you can help, phone Helen on 0433 764 664.

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