David is the key man to go to on the Coast


WITH all things equestrian in lockdown mode Australia-wide, Coffs Harbour vet David Johnson was yesterday appointed the Coffs Coast contact by the Centre for Disease Control.

"Sydney will liase with me as this unfolds but basically no horses can move anywhere," Mr Johnson said.

"There are no cases in Coffs at the moment but some horses have come here from infected areas.

"At the moment cases have been confirmed in Warwick (three), the Hunter Valley and also about 50 on the Central Coast. Hundreds of horses are affected."

However Mr Johnson said there was no cause for panic locally.

"Just keep your horses at home and don't take your horse floats anywhere.

"If your horses haven't travelled in the last week, you should be fine."

Boambee Equestrian Centre owner, Amanda Baston, said she was taking the situation very seriously and had locked down the centre.

"I've notified owners of horses in the stables that all horse movements have been banned," Ms Baston said.

"We're not moving any horses out of their paddocks and no-one is riding at the moment.

"Farriers won't be able to go on their rounds and jockeys can't train horses on the beach. "At the moment we're all still trying to work out the extent of the situation."

She said vigilance was vital and people should be especially careful when moving between areas.

"I've asked one person in Grafton to leave their boots up there and use a different pair of boots when they come here."

All pony club and equestrian activities have been cancelled.

Bellingen Pony Club's senior instructor, Kari Iggulden, said a scheduled pony club meet on Sunday went ahead but without any horses.

"The kids did some theory work for their certificates," Ms Iggulden said.

"We just have to wait and see what develops.

"If the lockdown continues we will miss a lot of things we usually go somewhere every weekend."

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