Equine hero to be honoured at Healesville
The feats of unlikely Black Saturday hero Fabish, a former thoroughbred racehorse and clerk of the course, will be celebrated by the Healesville Amateur Racing Club at their picnic race meeting on Sunday.
The grey horse will make a special appearance on the anniversary of the devastating bushfires to lead out the field for the race named in his honour, the Fabish Open Trophy.
Sunday is the first anniversary of the day the fire ripped through the township of Narbethong, approximately 21 kilometres from Healesville, and across Tarnpirr Farm, a 500 acre horse property owned by trainer Cliff Brown and his father Don.
The valuable racing stock on the property all survived thanks to the bravery of trainer and farm manager Alan Evett and the instincts of Fabish.
The 14-year-old grey gelding, who was trained by Mick Price during his racing career, sprung into action to save seven yearlings he was mentoring in an outer farm paddock.
Evett expected a grim discovery when he went looking for the yearlings after the firestorm had passed, only to see Fabish appear from the shadows leading the seven to safety in Indian file.
Fabish and Evett will be introduced to the crowd prior to Race Three and will participate in a minute’s silence before leading out the field.
In addition, the top-weighted jockeys in each race at Healesville will wear a set of specially designed “We support the Yellow Ribbon” cause colours to commemorate those affected by the bushfires.
At a further five race meetings held across Victoria this weekend – Caulfield, Bendigo and Buchan on Saturday and Colac and Sale on Sunday – the crowd will pause to reflect on the horrific events of Black Saturday and the clubs will fly their flags at half mast.