Wauchope Showground shelters 500 animals during bushfire emergency

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Wauchope Showground sent out a call for help as bushfires threatened much of the Hastings and the community rallied around.

On Tuesday November 12, a week after the Show Society opened the gates, more people than ever were coming in to get away from bushfires and the threat of their properties being destroyed.

Society president, Neil Coombes went on local radio to ask if anyone could help build fences and pens for horses, cattle, sheep and even alpacas.

Immediately, several dozen men turned up and began work and soon there was enough accommodation for a staggering 500 animals, more than they have during the Wauchope Agricultural Show.

Neil Coombes, Show Society

"The community have been incredible. We were in dire straits, with so many horses coming and nowhere to put them. Thanks to the Hastings Co-op and Wauchope Rural Centre, we had panels but no-one to put them up, but we put out a call with Mark Strachan, Strawny on the radio, and in an hour, volunteers had put the panels up," said Wauchope Show Society president, Neil Coombes.

"It's been an experience for us all. It's easier to organise our Ag Show. With this, you're not sure where you're going to turn next. We will stay open until this emergency is over. Scott and Heather, two of our directors, have slept overnight. People bringing food and hay has been unbelievable, and it just gives you a bit of hope."

Judy brought horses Cody, Joey and little Scooter, a Shetland pony, from King Creek as a precautionary measure to make sure they were safe.

Judy Hunt

Mark Holmes from Pets Park in Sancrox drove in to offer his services free of charge.

"Our kennels can house quite a few animals, and we are on 35 acres so we could take some of the bigger animals as well," said Mark.

Mark Holmes

Thankfully, weather conditions were better on Wednesday morning than before, and some people were making plans to leave the showground and go home, but for others, the burning bushfires are still too close for comfort, and they are very glad of somewhere else to go.

More on the bushfire:

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This story Wauchope Showground shelters 500 animals during bushfire emergency first appeared on Port Macquarie News.