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TAS Country : February 17th 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011 Tasmanian Country 3 News The magic of a thoroughbred career HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE: Preparing one of the horses at Bowthorpe Stud ahead of next week's Tasmanian Magic Millions Yearling Sale are, from left, Alice Hirst, 15, Hannah Chatwin, 15 and Alysha Verwey, 13. KAROLIN MacGREGOR 'I think there are huge opportunities for young people in the horse industry, and if they're prepared to learn and work, they can travel all over the world.' THE annual Tasmanian Magic Millions Yearling Sale gives many young people in the state a chance to experience what a career in the equestrian or the racing industry has to offer. About 160 yearlings will be sold at Tuesday's sale, which will be held at the Inveresk Showgrounds from 1pm. Each year, many young Tasmanians are employed by stud owners to help prepare yearlings for sale. It is a chance for young people to learn new skills and develop valuable contacts in the industry. At David and Patricianne Cochrane's Bowthorpe Stud near Longford, 15-year-old pony club members Alice Hirst and Hannah Chatwin, along with the Cochranes' 13-year-old granddaughter Alysha Verwey, have been helping prepare the latest crop of yearlings. Mrs Cochrane said they enjoyed helping young people get a foothold in the thoroughbred industry. ''I hear a lot of people say, and particularly parents, that there's no future for young people with horses, but that's not true,'' she said. ''I think there are huge opportunities for young people in the horse industry, and if they're prepared to learn and work, they can travel all over the world.'' This year at Bowthorpe the team are preparing 11 yearlings, and Mrs Cochrane said attention to detail was vital when preparing for the sale. ''When those yearlings walk out into the ring on sale day we want them to look immaculate because that's the first thing buyers will see,'' she said. ''You can't expect people to pay decent money for something that looks like it was just dragged out of the paddock.'' At Bowthorpe the young employees learn all aspects of yearling preparation, from feeding and handling through to washing, grooming and applying horse make-up. Mrs Cochrane said they started handling their young horses as soon as they were weaned. ''We like to get them in a few times, just for a week or two leading up to the sales, so when they come in for yearling prep they're used to being handled,'' she said. Mrs Cochrane said to get the right amount of condition and muscling, the yearlings were fed a specially designed diet and exercised daily. The horses are washed every day and are rugged all the time to ensure their coats stay in top condition. ''It's hard work, but that's the reality of the industry,'' Mrs Cochrane said. She said some of their former first- year employees had gone on to be offered full-time positions at the stud. ''We need to keep encouraging young people to get involved with the industry because without them we won't have an industry,'' Mrs Cochrane said. Milk price war batters Betta JENNIFER CRAWLEY MILK sales are plummeting for a Tasmanian milk company less than a month after the major supermarkets slashed prices to a $1 a litre. Sales of Betta Milk have dropped up to 15 per cent since Coles slashed its milk price in January. Woolworths quickly followed and prices for butter and cream are at record lows in both. Betta general manager Mark Littler said sales had taken a big hit as a result of the price war. Sales slumped 10 per cent early this week and 15 per cent on Thursday, he said. ''Our future is OK but it is going to be challenging,'' Mr Littler said. ''Sales have declined in the major supermarkets but trade outside the supermarkets is strong and in some areas has improved.'' If sales continued to fall the company will need to ''refocus,'' Mr Littler said. ''We need people to get behind our brand.'' Dairy Tas executive officer Mark Smith warned of dire conse- quences if the price war con- tinued. ''If they buggerise enough with the fresh-milk market in Aust- ralia, there is the definite possi- bility that our milk will come from anywhere in the world, and it will be UHT,'' Mr Smith said. The worst-case scenario for Bet- ta is that it will go out of business, Mr Smith said. Companies such as Ashgrove Milk, who value-added were safe, but only in the short term, he said. ''If the supermarkets push hard enough it will jeopardise all those sorts of businesses,'' he said. ''I give it the big finger up, not down,'' Mr Smith said. ''Up yours. I'm not buying it.'' Tasmanian Farmers and Graz- iers Association chief Jan Davis said farmers could not keep pro- ducing for lower and lower prices. She said supermarkets were ''bloody minded'' and consumers ''naive''. ''It's just nonsense,'' Ms Davis said. ''It's infuriating. ''Farmers costs going up and up yet people think that food should be the only thing getting cheaper.'' TFGA dairy council chair And- rew Lester said the drop in Betta sales was ''exactly what we have been predicting, a shift from brand to home-brand milk''. Australian Dairy Farmers has called for an extraordinary gen- eral meeting of Coles parent com- pany Wesfarmers to explain why it is discounting milk. Tasmanian Country was unable to get comment from Coles. 2067997-110218 Grasslands Society of Southern Australia - Tasmanian Branch 2010-2011 Silage Crop Competition (Ryegrass/Cereal/Legume) Competition Finishes on the 31st May 2011 Winners announced at the Grasslands Annual Conference Prizes: Major, Members & Contractors Prize For further information contact: David Squibb on 0425 790 222 Email: email@example.com Entry forms available from the Grasslands Website: http://www.grasslands.org.au and follow the link to the Tasmanian Branch. ENTRY IS FREE or contact Sarah Campbell on 0417 574 307 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
February 10th 2011
February 24th 2011