When most people think of the Seymour Alternative Farming Expo, they think of all the animals – and this year will be no exception.
Harness Education and Re-homing Opportunities (HERO) will be the feature equestrian exhibit at the 2020 expo, an organisation that promotes life after racing for retired standardbreds.
Tanya McDermott from HERO said the exhibit would show a variety of horses across the three days of the expo, with the intention to demonstrate the adaptability of the animals outside of racing.
“There is no better way to change outdated stereotypes than to get out and about and show as many different people as possible just what these horses are able to achieve with time, patience and commitment,” Tanya said.
“HERO program graduate horses have gone on to participate very successfully in a wide and varied range of activities including endurance, showing, extreme cowboy competition (obstacles on horseback), equine-assisted learning, adult riding and pony club, trail riding and liberty training.”
She said there was also an opportunity for attendees to get up close and personal with the horses and their trainers, who will be on hand to provide information and assistance.
“Some of the HERO program’s re-trainers will be on hand to discuss the transition of horses from harness to saddle and assist anyone who has an interest in off the track ‘standies’ and is seeking advice or support.”
HERO is a joint initiative between Harness Racing Victoria and the Victorian Government through the Victorian Racing Industry Fund.
After spending time with the horses, expo visitors can meet the beautiful Belted Galloways, cows known for their distinctive white ‘belt’ and likeable temperament.
Hettie Biersteker, from Silvan Park Belted Galloways, bought her first cows about 10 years ago, and first showed them at the expo last year.
“The Seymour expo attracts a lot of small landholders and hobby farmers − these are the people we are looking for to buy our young stock,” Hettie said.
Red Angus cattle also have a calm demeanour, and Jeff Boland from Claremont Red Angus will be bringing a couple of his bulls to the expo this year.
“Farmers who rear other breeds are often impressed by how quiet and easy to handle the Red Angus are and sometimes they will buy a Red Angus bull to ‘take the sting out’ of their breed,” Jeff said.
They won’t be the only cattle − the Australian Brahman Breeders Association will also be showing Brahmans at Seymour
For those looking for something different among the animal exhibits, the Warrantina Lavender Farm and the Tree Project will provide the desired greenery.
Held in the heart of Victoria at Seymour’s Kings Park from Friday on February 14 to Sunday, February 16, Seymour Alternative Farming Expo is the biggest annual event in Mitchell Shire Council.
With the gates about to open for the 28th edition of event you are invited to come and explore the latest technology, practices and trends in small and backyard farming, visit the animals and enjoy the market-style shopping, food and entertainment.
Buy tickets online at seymourexpo.com.au to save 15%, and find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.