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1,000 Horses At Hunter Valley Coal Mine Protest

Friday, 20th November 2009

More than 1,000 horses & their riders “will parade through Scone next week in a protest rally against a planned coal mining development in the area that threatens the viability of the Hunter Valley thoroughbred breeding industry,” reported The Daily Telegraph. The newspaper asserted “several of Australia’s leading horse studs (including Arrowfield, Darley, Coolmore, Patinack Farm, Vinery & Kia Ora) “will be directly impacted if the proposed Bickham coal mine is approved” & Arrowfield Stud boss John Messara said the “mining threat to the Upper Hunter Valley region is potentially devastating to the thoroughbred breeding industry”. In terms of its size, the Upper Hunter “provides 30% of all Australian thoroughbred foals born each year, 71.6% of yearlings sold at Australian yearling sales & 75% of Australian stallion service fees”. Messara noted: “But the proposed Bickham coal mine will be developed in the heart of the thoroughbred breeding region & has the potential to contaminate the natural water supplies to the studs & agricultural farms.”

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