Stories of survival emerge from Gympie floods as horses tread water for hours

Horse homeowners and farmers are counting their losses and celebrating tales of survival after the Gympie area was inundated with as much as 650 millimetres of rain over the weekend.

“It’s simply come down in such a rush that no-one was ready for it,” Tansey resident Julie Cunningham mentioned.

“There’s heaps of losses in every single place within the district … it is devastating.”

Ms Cunningham, who’s the secretary of the Tansey Show Society, mentioned it had been a horrific few days with many horses stranded on the showgrounds.

Man in orange top leads a horse down a road affected by floods
It was a second of elation when a polo stallion was discovered after treading water all night time. (Supplied: Julie Cunningham)

Amongst the heartache, there are some good news tales together with a stallion that survived towards all odds.

“The polo fella, he obtained three of these mares on his truck Friday night, and by the point he went to return to get the others he could not discover some of them,” Ms Cunningham mentioned.

“He spent the night time over in a single of the yards making an attempt to save lots of the stallion. He thought he’d misplaced him.”

Rescued on Saturday morning, the person thought he had misplaced all the things till the stallion was discovered within the yard nonetheless alive.

“He’d (the stallion) been treading water for in all probability 10 hours and fairly effectively you already know, he was nonetheless in good spirits that horse and doing effectively,” Ms Cunningham mentioned.

Showground yards with flood debris in them
A polo stallion treaded water all night time in these yards while his proprietor was up on a stand simply subsequent to it, fearing it had drowned. (ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

But the joy was bittersweet with many individuals dropping horses within the climate occasion.

“They’re not solely your finest mate, they’re your loved ones, so if you lose one it’s heart-wrenching.”

Orphaned colt finds new residence

Community spirit has been a typical thread running by many unimaginable tales of survival in Tansey.

Emma Hafey, of Jaylan Downs Australian Stock Horse Stud, was reunited with a broodmare after folks swum with it to the showgrounds.

“We had some buddies locally that truly swum as much as chest top [in water] to save lots of her and get her off the verandah and produce it again residence,” she mentioned.

Young woman stands in stables with a chestnut horse
Emma Hafey with one of her household’s mares after it was rescued.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

Many horses had been discovered on Saturday morning after treading water all night time.

One colt was discovered downstream within the river with no traces of its mom or proprietor.

Ms Hafey has positioned the younger horse along with her broodmare.

“We’re hoping that she’ll settle for him and be his mum now,” she mentioned.

“They’ve gone by loads and for some of them, they’ve come out excellent on the opposite finish.”

Cattle swept 10km away

Despite all the things they’ve been by, the Hafey household have helped return misplaced cattle to Alex and Robyn Barsby.

The Barsbys, who run a cattle property at Tansey, had been shocked to obtain 406mm of rain in just some hours.

Man on horse musters cattle across a bridge
The Hafey household had been blissful to assist return misplaced cattle to homeowners Alex and Robyn Barsby. (ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

“We had about 120 head, that is cows and weaner calves lacking, however we have fairly a number of cows again however not loads of calves,” Ms Barsby mentioned.

It was solely with the morning gentle that the couple realised simply how a lot water had inundated their property.

Woman and Man stand next to each other with green pasture behind them
Robyn and Alex Barsby are grateful for the neighborhood’s assist.(ABC Rural: Jennifer Nichols)

Some of their cattle have been discovered alive seven to 10 kilometres downstream.

“We’ve obtained a pair within the yard. One’s obtained pneumonia and one’s obtained a cooked shoulder however most of them are fairly good,” Ms Barsby mentioned.

“Cattle are superb. They get within the floodwater they usually simply drift you already know, so fortunately they have not been caught up in fences or caught up in bushes.”

For Ms Barsby the silver lining has been seeing the neighborhood band collectively within the restoration effort.

She mentioned folks travelling from Brisbane meant loads to her.

“It occurs on a regular basis with floods and fires, all people simply will get collectively, it is the Aussie spirit.”

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