Diehard Clydesdale enthusiasts’ bid to attract young blood

Being towed along in a wagon or cart has a special appeal. “If you can go out there and chime along together and it goes well together and can feel as one, it all works good,” said Ms Butler, who owns a light wooden cart called a Meadowbank. So we’re trying to work together as a team.”

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Margaret Filbay, who still drives at age 88, worked with Clydesdales to keep the family farm going during WWII. (Landline: Tim Lee)
Ms Butler got hooked by the sport of carriage driving some years back and the enjoyment of teaming up with a Clydesdale has never wavered. The Clydesdale Society of Victoria wants to see a return to the horse and carriage days. Most of the time once somebody’s tried it they get hooked.”Mr Peel was the chief instructor at a special weekend event held earlier this month at Lethbridge near Geelong. Photo:
Sally Morphy enjoys riding her Clydesdale, Paris (Landline: Tim Lee)
Sally Morphy from Ceres is a recent convert to the charms of these gentle giants. (Landline: Tim Lee)
Watch Tim’s story on Landline today at noon on ABC TV. It is the type used by the American Amish.Next year the Clydesdale Society of Victoria will celebrate its centenary. “They’ve got the financial means to do it and the time. “I think the days of people remembering seeing the milk lorry go down the street are gone,” the society’s Josh Taylor said. Open to all comers, among the diehard Clydesdale owners was a healthy infusion of new blood. She owns a nine-year-old gelding, Zachary. “Most of the time once somebody’s tried it they get hooked,” Mr Peel said. We want our horses to enjoy it. Photo:
William Lewin with instructor Mark Peel go at a fast clip. “Those memories are gone now, so we’re targeting at people, a whole new generation that haven’t witnessed it.” But the society admits many of its stalwarts are in the veteran class, hence the drive to recruit. (Landline: Tim Lee)
“Essentially with your hands you’re asking the horse a question and I’m trying to help them listen the horse better,” Mr Peel explained as he put various horses and drivers through their paces. Beryl Jackson, whose family connection with Clydesdales goes back many generations, warns exposure to these famous workhorses can prove addictive.”Once you come and look at them and interact with them, even by looking at them, patting them, there’s just something magical about the whole process,” she said.”And the characters of people you actually meet around the horse shows and things and the older generation is just a generation that you don’t meet up with often. (Landline: Tim Lee)
“I hate to say it, typically in the past it has been a bit of an older person’s sport,” said Mark Peel, who has represented Australia at international carriage driving competitions. “So when they get the answer they can reward him and by doing that you get a happier horse that is more willing to go forward and do the job. And at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about. They send the horse the crucial signals — which direction to go, when to stop and start, how fast to travel. But Paris is happy being ridden or being harnessed up in a cart. But it can be exciting — carriage driving can be really exciting for juniors and they can get a lot out of it, develop really healthy friendships and relationships out of it.”We’ve just got to get them into it. The 1950s mechanisation, especially of trucks and tractors, had almost consigned them to history’s scrapheap if not for enthusiasts like the Clydesdale Society — who have never lost their love for these heavy horses nor the joy of harnessing them both for competition and recreation. She grew up with prize-winning ponies but recently bought a three-year-old Clydesdale filly, Paris. Standing more than 16 hands high, Ms Morphy needs a step ladder to mount up. Photo:
William Lewin and instructor Mark Peel drive the Clydesdale. “The country people coming together and they have stories and the whole thing about them is really interesting and quite intriguing.”

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Blacksmith Bill Jackson shapes a horseshoe for a Clydesdale. Not out of some nostalgic, or wistful whim, but as part of a campaign to introduce younger folks to the joys of Clydesdale horses.For centuries, these gentle giants of the horse world helped turn the wheels of agriculture and industry — pulling ploughs, hauling loads, even delivering the daily milk. “We enjoy it as a sport and a hobby. The key to driving a horse in harness are the reins, the long ribbons of leather that connect to the bit in the horse’s mouth.
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(Landline: Tim Lee) Landline

By Tim Lee

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August 27, 2017 06:04:43

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Margaret Filbay and her daughter Beryl Jackson allow Mr Whiskers to catch his breath.

Harvey the Hurricane Hawk rides out monster storm with taxi driver

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By Jonathan Hepburn

Updated

August 27, 2017 13:43:13

Video: "A hawk is seeking refuge in my taxi from Hurricane Harvey."

(ABC News)
The dangers of bird feeding for wild birds
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I guess he’ll just hang out with me until he wants to leave,” Mr Bruso said. External Link:

"Look at him, he's just over here being a hawk."
After having Harvey riding around in his taxi it may not be surprising that Mr Bruso felt comfortable enough to pick up the sleek, sharp-beaked predator, but a panicked hawk could easily cause blindness, and injury from a wild bird could lead to a potentially dangerous infection.Harvey moved from the passenger seat to the dashboard as Mr Bruso picked up supplies to ride out the hurricane, then sat next to the bar in Mr Bruso’s house and ate chicken hearts while Hurricane Harvey triggered tornadoes and flash floods elsewhere in Texas.Commenters suggested Harvey was large enough to be a female but probably still a juvenile used to being fed by its parents, while Harvey’s habit of holding its wings out could be due to either nervousness or trying to get moisture from increased humidity out of its feathers.Harvey’s story has a happy ending: Although Mr Bruso had thought he would have to wait until Tuesday (local time) to contact a wildlife carer, it was late on Saturday night when the final video showed Harvey being collected by Ivory Rose from the TWRC Wildlife Centre on the west side of Houston. As Hurricane Harvey drenched Texas and left a trail of destruction across the Lone Star State, a lonely hawk became a YouTube star after finding shelter with a friendly cab driver.William Bruso of the coastal city of Houston uploaded a video on August 25, as the hurricane was still out to sea, saying “a Coopers hawk is seeking refuge in my car and does not want to leave”.Coopers are a medium-sized hawk native to the continental United States and parts of Canada and Mexico. External Link:

Harvey the Hurricane Hawk is collected What do to if a wild animal needs your helpContact your nearest vet or wildlife carer organisation as soon as possibleThe RSPCA has contact details for each state and territoryWild animals become stressed by handling, so seek expert advice before handling an injured animalDo not feed or treat it without specialist knowledge, training or adviceIf you have to move an injured animal, keep it safe, quiet, still and warmIf necessary, wrap it gently in a towel and place in a secure, well-ventilated boxSource: RSPCA Australia
In the next video, he said the hawk had been chased by a cat.Commenters on the video suggested the hawk’s left wing might be injured or it might be stunned after a collision with a car or window, and many urged Mr Bruso to find a rehabilitation or wildlife centre as soon as possible.Mr Bruno soon named the bird Harvey the Hurricane Hawk, and kept YouTube updated on Harvey’s progress over a series of nine more videos.In the second, posted soon after the first, he said Harvey “didn’t want to leave” and was “just hanging out”.Harvey can be seen standing on the passenger seat with its wings and tail spread to brace against braking or cornering.”He’s a cool bird. But we have Hurricane Harvey approaching Houston … and I’ve got to get back on the road. Photo:
“He just doesn’t want to go.” (YouTube: William Bruso)
The first video shows the hawk sitting on the far edge of the passenger seat, staring at Mr Bruso for a minute with a hunched posture and its wings not folded neatly.Mr Bruso can be heard suggesting the bird might be frightened and might have sought refuge when the approach of Hurricane Harvey changed air pressure. External Link:

"What do you do in a situation like this?"
In the third video Mr Bruso repeatedly encourages Harvey, who is sitting on the top of the open passenger door of the taxi, to leave.Harvey, who maintains his balance while his feathers are ruffled by rising winds, ignores all entreaties to fly.”What do you do in a situation like this?” Mr Bruso asks after putting on gloves and picking up Harvey, who settles onto his hand. “He just doesn’t want to go.””Keep him,” two people say off-camera. “When he wants to go, he’ll go.”Since Harvey insists upon staying with him, Mr Bruso decides to keep the bird safe during the storm then look for a wildlife carer.
Hurricane Harvey leaves 'widespread devastation' as Texas braces for floods
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