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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 16 May 2015
NEWS 6 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 16 MAY 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Australian ark sought for Skyrian horse Campaign begins to give endangered species a home in Victoria’s High Country MICHAEL SWEET Victoria may become the latest outpost in efforts to save a unique breed of horses from the island of Skyros. The species is considered a descendant of the mounts Achilles took to Troy and those used by Alexander the Great (as featured in the Parthenon Frieze) but their numbers have reduced alarmingly in recent decades. Today, the Skyrian horse is one of the rarest breeds in the world, with fewer than 100 breeding mares worldwide. Carrying the torch for the Skyrian horse in Australia is business consultant Margaret Moore who runs a farm and holiday retreat in Mansfield on the edge of Victoria's High Country. Ms Moore's plan is to bring a group of horses to the state as part of a global effort to breed the species, but transporting them to Australia may cost up to $170,000. A similar breeding group was successfully exported to Scotland in 2005. There the herd has grown to over 20. Speaking to Neos Kosmos, Ms Moore said that six animals - two stallions and four mares - were needed to have a reasonable gene pool and start a herd in Victoria. "It costs $30,000 per horse to fly an animal from Europe. This charge includes two to three weeks quarantine at either end of the journey. "I need to ship probably from two or three locations - Corfu and Skyros and possibly Thessaloniki - and pay the transport costs to Germany where they would go into quarantine." ia. d y y o Ms Moore is currently ny developing a fundraising campaign and will approach long-haul airlines with a view to sponsoring the horses' journey to the southern hemisphere. "This is a very expensive exercise but I believe it is vitally important to Greek sill Campaigner Margaret Moore. heritage, the breed and the maintenance of endangered species," she said. heritage the breed and the As part of the initial promotion of the project, Ms Moore plans to undertake a sponsored ride on another ancient equine breed - The Skyrian horse is one of the rarest equine breeds in the world. Th Norwegian Fjord horses - along the railway trail from Tallarook to Mansfield. Fundraising efforts are also to be supported by Melbourne's Hellenic Museum, with CEO John Tatoulis having expressed a personal interest in the initiative. "I have a keen interest in horses - being a rider and N es tr M Fund having owned them in my youth. I'm also cognisant of the fact that the Skyrian breed is endangered, and measures to protect the breed should be encouraged and supported. "The Skyrian horse is an integral part of Greek history and culture and its role as such should be appreciated and celebrated." PHOTO: SKYRIAN HORSE SOCIETY. Margaret Moore is keen to contact Australians of Skyrian descent who may be interested in becoming involved with the project, and who may be able to share their families' memories of the horses on Skyros. Enquiries about the Australian Skyrian horse project should be sent to: info@ moorehouse.com.au Coins struck for WWII campaigns Royal Australian Mint honours Anzac service and sacrifice in Greece Two coins commemorating the Greece and Crete campaigns were launched in Canberra this week. The 50 cent coins are part of the Royal Australian Mint's Official Anzac Centenary Coin Program, which captures the history, service and sacrifice of Australians at war. In a statement to media, the Royal Australian Mint said the initiative was part of its role in sharing the An- zac story with the Australian public, "providing them with something tangible and meaningful that will assist in story-telling for years to come". The coins are a product of close collaboration between the Royal Australian Mint, the Australian War Memorial and the Department of Veterans' Affairs, to select the most appropriate themes to the Australian public and assist in creating awareness of them. The coins will be available to purchase at $10 each. The launch took place at the Hel- lenic Club of Canberra in Woden, ACT. Nick Andriotakis, secretary of the Joint Committee for the Commemoration of the Battle of Crete and Greek Campaign in Sydney, said the striking of the coins was a significant recognition of the campaigns, "one which should all make us very proud of our collective passion for remembering the Anzacs and Greeks who fought during the Battle of Crete and Greece”. The Australian government, unlike the Greek government, has never struck a medal in recognition of Australian servicemen and women who took part in the Greek and Crete campaigns of WWII. For more information on the launch email info@ramint. gov.au or call 02 6202 6999.
9 May 2015
23 May 2015