Australian Turf Club Foundation delivers 1200 hay bales for Dubbo, western region trainers, photos

Trainers facing "astronomical" feed and water costs as a result of the drought have received a welcome boost from the Australian Turf Club Foundation.

Established in October last year, the ATCF has already raised $100,000 for drought relief.

And on Thursday, about 20 Dubbo region trainers were among the first to benefit as 1200 bales of "good quality" lucerne hay was distributed at the Dubbo Turf Club.

Four bales were assigned for every horse in work - about five weeks' worth of feed, according to the trainer of Dubbo Country Championship qualifier Sons of Bourke, Clint Lundholm.

And 32 bales was a timely gift for Westlink trainer Darren Hyde as he, too, prepares for Saturday's $500,000 Country Championships final at Royal Randwick.

The pair depart tomorrow morning.

"The price of feed has gone sky high because of this drought," Hyde said.

"I think our bills have gone about extra $1000 a month, you know, but it is what it is and the horses need good feed.

"It's fantastic - a great effort. All the people involved have done a wonderful job here ... it's a great help to everyone."

Frank Hayes received 12 bales, and said it was "very much appreciated".

"Twelve bales is better than no bales," he said.

"Lucerne hay like this, 12 months ago you could buy it for $12 to $14. It's now $28 in a shop.

"This is a big help ... It's just going to lighten the feed bill ... we appreciate it very much."

The ATC's Steve McMahon highlighted the importance of delivering the support straight "to the horse's mouth".

"This is only a small drop in the ocean, to be honest," he said.

"We know that the drought has been severe, we know the cost of feed and water provisions has been astronomical and so when we received these requests we thought this was the best way we could practically help trainers.

"We don't see this as the city helping the country, we see it as something Australians do to help Australians and we want to make sure this is the first of many announcements we're able to make to help racing participants across NSW."

McMahon also announced a $10,000 donation to drought relief charity Aussie Helpers, as well as funding for irrigation and water provisions at the Walgett Jockey Club.

"That water will mean a lot for them," he said.

"We need the track to be safe for horses and we also need the economy to keep going for racing.

"This will ... help them with some irrigation and water provisions so that they can water their tracks and make sure that it's safe for everyone concerned."

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This story Drought relief goes straight to the horse's mouth first appeared on Daily Liberal.