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Onward wild beauties

Monday, 19th August, 2019

(From left) Meg Rowe, Jarrod Hughes, Henry Hughes and Grace Hughes with several of the 4BP horses earlier this year. PICTURE: Callum Marshall (From left) Meg Rowe, Jarrod Hughes, Henry Hughes and Grace Hughes with several of the 4BP horses earlier this year. PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Callum Marshall

After years of going it alone, horse training clinics provided by 4BP Horses for the not-for-profit Brumbies 4 Recovery will now be funded by the state government.

The Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSWPHN) will fund the service after 4BP’s clinics were scrutinised by government and three independent bodies. 

The move follows 4BP’s Indigenous suicide awareness clinics this year, which was started up by former local Jarrod Hughes after he heard about high suicide rates in the regions, particularly among Indigenous communities. 

The clinics replicated much of what 4BP was already doing but focused more on people bonding with their horse and other people, and being part of something more therapeutic than the regular clinics. 

After years of doing free clinics, travelling about 27,000 kilometres, and with only a little bit of sponsorship here and there, Jarrod said it was great to finally get government funding.

“It’s absolutely sensational,” he said. “It’s wonderful to think that the government has turned around and said, ‘mate, we want to pay you to do that’ for something we’ve been doing for free for so many years.”

The government funding follows recent federal funding for 4BP to run an Indigenous wellbeing clinic at Grong Grong.

That was funded by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet through the Indigenous Strategies Program and put together by the National Indigenous Australians Agency.

It’s also led to the development of a federally-funded program in South Australia for pre-release Aboriginal prisoners.

“That’s a really good one because we actually get to build ... our section of the facility and set up the program,” said Jarrod.

“And the program is for pre-release Indigenous (Australians) so that they can go back into their communities with a positive mindset.

“We’re trying to break the cycle of reoffending and that’s going to be addressed by Brumbies 4 Recovery. 

“The off-spin from that ... would be looking to set up a youth program in the community as well, so the horses that get used in the pre-release program will then be able to be used for the youth programs.”

With projects down the line and state funding secured, Jarrod said support from across the community and politicians had been very helpful.

He said support had come from, among others, Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley and local state and federal members Roy Butler and Mark Coulton, respectively.

Support was booming, said Jarrod, with bigger things on the way.

“Our page jumped a thousand people in a week and our audience has grown to just short of one million people every 28 days,” he said.

“We’ve got a production crew from a major TV channel trying to negotiate ... an ongoing weekly program.

“They’d follow us around from clinic to clinic doing different demographics of the community and then show the results of how it changes people’s lives.

“They’re also talking about running it in the US.

“I’m aiming to have one of the pilots filmed at either Menindee or Packsaddle or both.”

For the time being though, said Jarrod, clinics would be held in Menindee and Packsaddle within the next three to five weeks once numbers and locations had been confirmed. 

“Anybody that’s interested in that can just go on our Facebook page and all the details will be on there,” he said. 

“We’re looking for ten students for the week and we always have Thursday open for returned military veterans.

“The most important thing is that it’s for drought-affected people.

“But on Fridays, any kid from anywhere (who) wants to come in.”


* If you’re feeling depressed or suicidal you can contact Lifeline on its 24/7 crisis support service 13 11 14

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