The former racecourse at St Helens, which last held a horse race in the 1940s, is surging into the winners circle again for a different type of race.
The section of the course that used to house the wooden grandstand is now part of Rowensville Stud. After winning the 2014 Zegna International Ultra Fine Wool Award midyear, Rowensville is continuing their winning form with another breed. David and Susan Rowbottom have been actively controlling pests and weeds to keep the racecourse and their part of it home for a local endangered species.
Southern Brown Bandicoots have been filmed by the Basalt to Bay Landcare Network with remote sensing cameras on both the farm land and in the St Helens Reserve. The reserve is managed by Parks Victoria and is the other half of the original St Helens Racecourse (32ha). The St Helens bandicoots are the last known in Moyne Shire and they are on the track racing for their lives.
Fox predation has a major impact on the survival of the bandicoots – so to make this race away from extinction a bit more sporting; Basalt to Bay Landcare has a crowd funding campaign running which finishes on the 16th of November. To stop the deadly steeplechase of fox versus bandicoot you can go to the Pozible website and click on “Bandicoot Boosters”.
And pledges can start as low as $1. So if you love to win and want to help a local champion of a different kind get through the hurdles without becoming fox tucker – get behind this and place your bet online at http://www.pozible.com/project/186351 - closing 16/11/14 at 11 pm.