Hendra virus detected in flying fox from parklands in South Australia

Date: 18 January 2013

Hendra virus has been detected in a tissue sample taken from flying foxes that died in North Adelaide parklands during extreme temperatures earlier this month.

The cause of the deaths of about 100 flying foxes has been investigated and tests showed one sample was positive for the virus. Although still to be confirmed, it�s likely heat stress was the most likely cause of the bats� deaths.

Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Rob Rahaley, said people should be alert but not alarmed by the discovery of the virus in local flying foxes.  Hendra virus can be transmitted to horses but some simple precautions can be taken by horse owners to minimise the risk.

Hendra virus infection is also a rare but serious and sometimes fatal disease in people, but all known cases have been acquired from contact with infected horses. There have been no reports of people being infected directly from flying foxes.

�While this is the first time Hendra virus has been found in bats in SA, it was expected, as our flying fox population most likely originated from Victoria and New South Wales, where evidence of Hendra virus infection in flying foxes was demonstrated some time ago,� Dr Rahaley said.

�It has always been assumed local flying foxes would have a similar status to animals in those states.

�However we believe local factors such as vegetation and climate mean the risk to South Australian horses is much lower than it is in Queensland and northern NSW. It is important to note that, to date, Hendra virus has never been detected in a horse in SA, Victoria or southern NSW.

�But the discovery serves as a reminder to all South Australian horse owners to take steps to minimise the potential for contact between flying foxes and horses.

�Owners should prevent their horses being near fruiting and flowering trees that flying foxes may frequent and also cover feed bins and water troughs. Further details and other preventative actions are at http://www.pir.sa.gov.au/animalhealth/disease_control/hendra_virus

�Horse owners should immediately contact their vet if their horse is unwell.   Biosecurity SA will work with veterinarians if needed to rule out Hendra virus. Likewise, if owners have any concerns or questions about the virus, they should discuss these with their vet.�

The general public is warned not to touch flying foxes or other bats under any circumstances. If a sick or injured animal is found, contact Fauna Rescue�s 24-hour service on 8289 0896.

In the unlikely event someone is bitten or scratched by a flying-fox, or any other Australian bat species, they should immediately wash the wound thoroughly with warm soapy water and seek medical advice.


Three Stretches to Prevent Horseback Riding Injuries fromThe Trail Rider | EquiSearch

Horseback riding is an athletic endeavor; just ask anyone who’s felt head-to-toe sore after a long day in the saddle. And, like any other sport, the more physically fit you are when you ride, the better you’ll perform. You’ll also be less likely to suffer a riding-related injury.

Pre-ride stretching can prepare your muscles for the rigors of horseback riding and help prevent injury. Here are three stretches you can do before every ride, from Katie Mital, BS, ACE, CPT/CES, a certified personal trainer in Bend, Oregon. She’s an avid rider, as well as a fitness professional. She does local and long-distance consultations for equestrians, with her clients ranging from trail riders to competitive jumpers.

Barn door chest stretch

Barn door chest stretch
Photo by Michelle Anderson

Why Stretch?
It’s not the actual stretching that helps your horseback riding, but rather the long-term flexibility created by including stretching in your daily routine. Long, limber muscles help prevent riding injuries such as pulled or sore muscles. Many riders develop stiffness in their hips, hamstrings, chests, and shoulders due to our constant position in the saddle, says Mital.

When you ride, your heels are down, which stretches your calves, but your knees and hips are closed in a sitting position, allowing the muscles around these major joints to become tight.

“We also tend to roll our shoulders forward and ball up,” Mital says.


Before you do your stretches, warm up your muscles by increasing your heart rate. “You can catch your horse and lead him around the arena for a couple of laps or even just vigorously brush your horse,” Mital says.

When stretching, don’t push past the point of comfort. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds. “Longer if it feels good,” Mital says.

Stretch #1: Barn-Door Chest Stretch
Technique: Find a vertical edge, such as a door jam, to use for the stretch. Here, Mital is using a cross-tie beam. Raise your arm to create a 90-degree angle at your elbow, and press your forearm against the door jam.
Turn your head and look away from the door jam to add a stretch for your neck. Repeat on both sides.

Payoff: Opens the chest by stretching your pectoral muscles and shoulders, making it easier for you to sit up tall when riding; reinforces “shoulders back” in your riding position.

Arena rail overhead stretch

Arena rail overhead stretch
Photo by Michelle Anderson

Stretch #2: Arena-Rail Overhead Stretch
Technique: Standing half a body’s length from the fence with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend at the waist, and place your hands on the top rail. Your arms, shoulders, and back should be flat. Relax your neck, breathe deep, and let your body settle into the stretch.

Payoff: Creates flexibility in your shoulders and promotes good posture before mounting up; stretches tight hamstrings in the back of your legs; stretches your calf muscles to allow for deep heels when you ride.

Crossed leg stretch

Crossed leg stretch
Photo by Michelle Anderson

Stretch #3: Crossed-Leg Stretch
Technique: Stand with your feet slightly apart, then cross your right leg over your left one. Your right leg will be slightly bent, and your left leg will be straight. Bending at the hips, reach toward the ground. For added balance, rest your hands on your right knee. Repeat on opposite side, this time crossing your left leg over your right one.

Payoff: Another stretch to create flexibility in your hamstrings and calves, which gets your legs ready for the heels-down riding position; also stretches your lower back in preparation for sitting the trot.

HorseTalk TV this SAT 5th Jan – Last episode for this series, dont miss it

Tune into the final episode 6 of Horse Talk TV this Saturday 5th January 7.30pm AEST on 4METV & Wednesday 9th January 7.30pm AEST on Foxtel/Aurora


Jan Pike & "Pinky'  -     Celebrity Trainer - Linda Shore

Meet ‘Pinky” a big hearted ex-racehorse and graduate of the Cyberhorse Racehorse Outplacement Programme and his rider para-Olympian Jan Pike who has forged a highly successful dressage partnership with Pinky who allows her to “dance”

Our celebrity trainer FEI dressage rider Linda Shore introduces us to Western Dressage.

Olympic Gold Medal event rider  Stuart Tinney explains why the new Aussie invention  the ‘Hidez Pressure Suit’  gives competition horses the winning edge.

For stations & times click on this link;





Reminder to watch Channel 7 at 2pm New Years Day for the Australian International 3 day event Highlights!

The Channel 7 highlights of the 2nd round of the HSBC FEI Classics series
in Adelaide will be broadcast at 2pm Today – New Year’s Day 2013
Featured will be all the HSBC Adelaide CCI**** action plus a wrap up of the
Horseland CCI** class and the Dublin CCI**Australian Young Rider
Championship – Plus a tribute to the wonderful Kirby Park Irish Jester.