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A woman who fled the Crestwood-Lake Cathie bushfire with her two horses is very grateful to Wauchope Showground for opening its gates and giving her shelter.
Rebecca Keogh usually keeps her two horses, Beau and Indi, in stables run by Ngaire Reynolds in the Lake Innes area. However, as the Crestwood Drive bushfire spread, Ngaire asked owners of 35 horses to move them away to safety.
"At 6am on Tuesday, we came out to move our horses, and the wind picked up and got out of control, and started moving in our direction. It was terrifying," said Rebecca.
I was desperate. I felt we only had minutes to get out.Rebecca Keogh
"Lots of people came out with their floats. I was desperate. I felt we only had minutes to get out. I took the two family dogs in my car and we got to Wauchope Showground.
"Indi is only very new to the family, but he is a special boy. He was very close to being euthanised six weeks ago. Beau was my January gift from my husband. We don't have kids, so he was on my bucket list," Rebecca said tearfully.
"Ngaire is showing us how to look after horses. I'm so grateful that Wauchope Showground was open. We had nowhere else to go. We are only new in Port Macquarie, so we don't know anyone."
Rebecca stayed in her car all night with the windows open so she could be near her precious horses.
"You do what you can. The horses are very good. They are out of their comfort zone, but they have been brilliant. I can't ask for more," she said.