24 March, 2015. 11:10
IMRAN GASHKORI | Sports Journalist | Contact
In a world-first for Australian sport, it has been announced today that the governing body of Super Rugby are getting behind a trial program that would see star players able to house their own horses in stables provided by their club.
First off the rank is the out-of-form ACT Brumbies, with $20,000 being allocated to build a state of the art, free-standing horse stable.
The Brumbies claim that they have needed the facilities for some time, as the club struggles to house the extremely tall live-stock belonging to their star players.
Brumbies spokesman, Angus Silvatale spoke to the Betoota Advocate this morning about why this is a crucial inclusion to the culture of the club.
“We have needed a stable for a while now,”
“In the club’s early days it didn’t matter as much, but as we started attracting bigger names – it got to the point where the players that were coming here would roll in with their pride and joy in a horse-float,”
“They were very proud of the fact that their careers had given them the opportunity to actually own horses. They often compete with who has the biggest horse. Right now it’s between David Pocock and Matt Toomua,”
When asked whether it was appropriate for a professional sporting code to cover the costs of housing such large animals that were originally acquired for off-field recreation, Silvatale explained that while the high-horses were something that players usually acquire after their first Wallaby cap – they were more than just a trophy of pride.
“Some of the the boys ride on them all the time, some of them just leave in the sheds to console themselves after a shocking loss”
“For example, since coming back from his string of knee-injuries, David Pocock has been left unable to get around properly,”
“That’s why it is important for him to have a huge, enormously tall horse to ride on. It helps him on the field and it helps him off the field.”
ARU boss Bill Pulver has stated that the new high-horse facilities will work hand in hand with the code’s integrity unit – with much of the funding coming from player fines.
“We are here to help house, feed and groom their high horses. It works hand in hand with the game”
“What we have here is a reason for players to be on their best behaviour. Any on-field or off-field indiscretions could result in a player being unable to use the facilities,”
“Players found guilty of cocaine use will be unable to access their horses for up to six weeks,”
“Players found guilty of homophobia or racism will be fined – and in turn – will be paying for the upkeep of their rival player’s horses”