News

Stanhope couple rescues horses from bushfires

By Shepparton News

Matt and Jackie Peterson from Stanhope have transported hundreds of horses out of the bushfire-hit region of north-east Victoria.

The owners of M & J Peterson Horse Transport began moving the horses out of the region on Saturday, January 4.

“We counted 263 horses, we moved a lot more than we were expecting,” Mrs Peterson said.

The Petersons own a 10-horse truck and a nine-horse truck, which were loaded to capacity on every trip from bushfire-affected properties to the safe zone at the Wangaratta saleyards and the GOTAFE campus in Tone Rd, Wangaratta.

The Petersons were away for about five days, travelling through Beechworth, Carboor, Bright, Nug Nug, Porepunkah, Myrtleford and Tawonga, and sleeping overnight in their transport trucks at the Wangaratta saleyards.

The couple is now heading to Canberra to rescue horses in the area. Mrs Peterson said there were properties 90 minutes’ drive from there that had been affected by the south coast fires.

“We’re going to stay as long as it takes to get all the horses out,” she said.

“We've done the whole lot free of charge. Most people have tried to give us money, but we have no idea what they’ll go back to.”

Read more in the next edition of Country News.