Riders protest cuts in funding


A MEMORIAL event for Rockhampton vet Dr Alister Rodgers will double as a protest against cuts in funding for Hendra virus research.

Horse owner, trainer and breeder, Leticia Hart, of The Caves, has organised a Hendra virus charity ride/walk to raise funds for the University of Queensland's Alister Rodgers (Hendra virus) Memorial Fund.

Dr Rodgers passed away on September 1, after contracting the virus from the J4S stud at Carwarral where an outbreak occurred.

Last month the Government announced its decision to cut federal funding to a Brisbane-based research body that had been studying the virus, but will close next year.

Leticia said it was why she had organised the ride.

“It really disturbed me to hear the government weren't happy to continue funding it (Hendra virus) because it wasn't a common virus,” she said.

“It is becoming more common and I think there needs to be more research.”

When Hendra virus struck the Carwarral stud in August, the 23-year-old had fears the virus was going to go to her property.

She put her horses in quarantine.

“When Dr Rodgers fell ill and the others were in hospital it was my worst fear.

“Alister had been my vet since he has been in Rockhampton and has done an awful lot of work for me ... it was devastating when he passed away.”

She said she wanted to do something as a community to make sure there was support for the memorial fund and for vital research.

Horse riders and walkers will meet at the Parkhurst Pony Club at 8am on Saturday, November 14, before heading to Norman Road, into Dean Street, past the Rockhampton Vet Clinic to Rodboro Street, and into Water Street, stopping near Birdwood Park, Kalka Shades.

HENDRA RIDE • What: Hendra virus charity ride/ walk in memory of Dr. Alister Rodgers •When: 8am Saturday, November 14, for registration, 10am start. •Where: Starting at Parkhurst Pony Club grounds to Norman Road, Dean Street, Rodboro Srteet, Water Street and stopping near Birdwood Park, Kalka Shades. •Why: To raise much needed funds for Hendra research. •Registraion: Contact Leticia Hart on 0408 615 307

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