ThoroughBred Racing

Studs caught in ‘dire’ flood situation

Studs caught in ‘dire’ flood situation

Yulong Stud and Gilgai Farm are battling rising floodwaters and threats to their horses after the state was lashed with significant rainfall and flooding.

The situation at Yulong Stud in Mangalore, just South of Nagambie, is escalating, with boats needing to be called in to rescue a huge number of horses stranded in head-high floodwaters.

At the home of Black Caviar, Gilgai Farm – just West of Nagambie, the situation is understood to also be dire with flood waters wreaking havoc.


It comes as:

  • The clean up begins for a number of farms in central Victoria who escaped major damage but suffered significant flooding;
  • Race tracks including Seymour, Kyneton and Yarra Valley are closed due to flooding;
  • There was no training at Seymour, Kyneton, Wangaratta and Swan Hill on Thursday morning;
  • Car parks at Flemington are under water;
  • Caulfield’s Group 1 Cup meeting will go ahead;
  • Saturday’s meeting at Wodonga has been abandoned due to surface water;
  • Picnic racing at Alexandra has also been called off.


Yulong’s Sam Fairgray described the current situation as “pretty dire” at his property.

Videos on social media have shown horses almost neck deep in water being saved by boats, while others have been led out of the flood by volunteers.

“Water is still flowing back into the farm. It’s halfway across the property,” Fairgray told RSN927.

“The water has never been this high before. It’s horrendous.”

At Three Bridges Thoroughbreds in Eddington, horses and staff are all safe, but a deluge of consistent rain has seen floodwaters inundate the large property with dams overflowing.

“Thankfully we’ve been here for 17 years, and we sort of knew what might’ve been coming, whereas at some of those newer farms you just don’t know – so it’s just horrible,” General Manager Toby Liston said.

“Our catchment is 180,000 megalitres, and we’re letting out 70,000 megalitres last night. It’s a bloody lot of water, we’re probably a kilometre across, there’s a kilometre of two-metre-deep water, there’s just so much water. We know how much work is coming with the clean-up.”

(Three Bridges Thoroughbreds on Friday morning - supplied)

Three Bridges Thoroughbreds on Friday morning.

At Swettenham Stud in Nagambie, the focus of staff has shifted to helping those in need of urgent help after assuring all horses and staff were ok.

“All horses are safe we’ve just got paddocks underwater; staff and horses are safe so that’s the main thing. We’re going to throw a few boats in and go and help the other guys out,” General Manager Sam Matthews said.

“The way our farm is designed it’s on a steep gradient, so it actually hasn’t been too bad, the horses are hundreds of metres away from the water – we just want to make everyone else is ok.”

A usually picturesque creek that divides Woodside Park Stud at Tylden is now an uncrossable river dividing the property in two sections, but thankfully all horses have been accounted for.

“Look we’re not too bad, the creek runs through the middle here and it’s raging, it’s uncomfortable but we haven’t got paddocks underwater, the creek raging has cut us in half, so we’re stuck – it’s an issue but no mare’s stuck in water,” Manager Mark Dodemaide said.

(Woodside Park Stud on Friday morning – supplied)

Woodside Park Stud on Friday morning 

In Euroa, the team at Blue Gum Farm are already into clean-up mode after copping the full force of the wild front.

“We’ve had a lot of rain and a lot of wind – there’ll be a lot of clean up, it’s head down and bum up and getting on top of it,” Principal Philip Campbell said.

“I’m sure there’s others far worse off than us, but it’s been a pretty rough time.”