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Parade visitors can 'Buy a Bale' for drought relief

3 min read

Hunter Valley's thoroughbred breeding industry will use the crowds generated by this weekend's stallion parades to collect donations for drought-affected local farmers via the Buy A Bale Foundation.

Most of the Hunter Valley studs will be opening their doors as part of the annual stallion parades, with big attendances expected. And with the region in the grip of the worst drought in 50 years, the industry will reach out to help the local community.

"When you come to the Hunter, and you drive through from the different parts, you drive through such horrendous dry country, there's no better opportunity for people to donate." - Mick Malone

Mick Malone of Kitchwin Hills said the signs of the drought will be very evident to visitors to the Hunter and there was an opportunity to support those impacted.

"There's no better time, with so many visitors to the Hunter and no doubt they would have heard so much about the drought," Malone said.

"When you come to the Hunter, and you drive through from the different parts, you drive through such horrendous dry country, there's no better opportunity for people to donate."

Drought-stricken Hunter Valley

Pain across generations

For those that live and work in the region, the impact of the drought is significant, especially across the broader farming industry.

"I know three or four farmers just around us, some of their cattle, in terms of genetically, date back to their grandparents, and they’ve either lost them or had to sell." Malone said.

"I know three or four farmers just around us, some of their cattle, in terms of genetically, date back to their grandparents, and they’ve either lost them or had to sell." - Mick Malone

"We just thought what a great time to throw some hey bales on the back of a truck and let everyone physically buy a bale for the local farmers to look after the community."

Visitors to the stallion parades will be able to 'buy' several different sizes of bales, the proceeds of which will go to help the local Hunter Valley farmers.

Buy a bale

There will be a truck at all the major parades with small $20 bales, larger $200 round bales and then a $400 square bales as an example of what impact the donations will have.

"That's exactly what the farmers are buying and the people buying them can see them and feel what they are buying," he said.

The local Commonwealth Bank in Scone is also providing 'tap and go' facilities for those donating.

"All we are asking that if they feel in their heart to buy a bale, that'd be brilliant." - Mick Malone

The truck will be present at most of the major stallion parades across this weekend, including Darley, Yarraman, Arrowfield, Aquis, Coolmore and Vinery.

Malone feels its something the broader thoroughbred industry will get behind.

"It's such a great weekend, there's food and drink, and often people think 'I should have paid for something' and all we are asking that if they feel in their heart to buy a bale, that'd be brilliant," he said.

The donations will be specifically used to help farmers impacted by the drought in the Hunter Valley.