Former international dressage rider Diana White is saving and extending the lives of unwanted horses at her Lake Monduran sanctuary.
Diana needs community support to continue her efforts.
Lassie was everyone’s favourite TV wonder dog capable of almost human-like intervention into any emergency.
LASI or Lakeside Animal Sanctuary Incorporated is a humane organisation capable of providing human intervention into the lives of unwanted and often abused thoroughbred and standard-bred horses.
Diana White is the president of LASI Australia, an evolving organisation situated on 96 acres of picturesque undulating country with a kilometre of lakeside frontage.
Diana is not your average horse lover. This lady has genuine passion when it comes to the adoption and care of horses.
She lives on the property located quite remotely some 46km off the highway north of Gin Gin with her dogs and 18 horses.
Former international dressage rider
A former dressage rider who competed on the international circuit and later worked in Australia handling and training horses for a training facility, Diana has opted out of the saddle and devoted her life to the rehabilitation of her equine companions.
Diana will pursue this goal until funding becomes available to enable the purchase of proper training facilities to retrain those with abilities and direct them to new career disciplines.
She has an uncanny affinity with horses.
“A secret is to always ask permission of the horse if you wish to achieve something with the horse,” she said.
“It may seem a little offbeat, but horses have a fantastic intelligence and a great empathy and understanding of the needs of humans.”
Diana’s dilemma is that she has a home for her animals, she is an incorporated entity with registered charitable status but needs support.
“I am so fortunate to have veterinary assistance among the people on our board of management members,” she said.
“However, to get this property fully developed will require significant government and community support.”
Diana said it was the trauma of watching the documentary Wastage which dealt with the “disposal” of huge numbers of former racehorses which provided her with the focus and resolve to dedicate her life to the care of these horses.
“I was totally devastated, incredibly inconsolable, bawling my eyes out after watching Wastage and I knew I had to do something,” she said.
“Very shortly after I attended an auction where Thoroughbreds were being sold in the meat sale section at Laidley on July 5, 2014 with the intention of buying one ex-racehorse. I walked away with six.
“Three of those are still with me with Destiny, my first purchase, establishing herself as the alpha mare,” Diana said.
Her journey to her lakeside sanctuary was punctuated by a ten year pause where she went and studied architecture but caring for horses was a natural and irresistible calling.
Lakeside sites for camping
Diana has developed a couple of lakeside campsites on the property and those who avail themselves of the opportunity to camp there are treated to a majestic display of mother nature’s best.
“The wildlife is incredible. Lots of platypus and water birds. It’s a procession of waterbirds and to see them work in unison when they find a school of fish is unbelievable – a feeding frenzy,” said Diana.
The small amount of money the charity raises through these pursuits coupled with donations from friends and the community goes straight to supporting her animals.
Diana lives in a battered caravan and purchases her fresh water. No toilet (guests have the pleasure of BYO facilities or borrowing a seat with a bag) and no rainwater tank. Funding certainly does not go to home comforts.
Her fencing efforts are carried out by hand. The clearly defined muscles show the results of using a crowbar and posthole shovel to erect fencing.
It’s a tough life but a more upbeat person with a cheerful disposition than Diana White would be hard to find.
Lakeside Animal Sanctuary Incorporated was invited to present a submission to the Ministerial and Governing Authorities seeking solution to the problems evident within the racing industry regarding the after-racing care of horses.
“LASI is the only registered incorporated charity in Queensland that specialises in taking both Thoroughbred and standard-bred racehorses as part of our objectives in our model rules,” she said.
Diana’s vision is to establish a fully functioning sanctuary that offers vet care, quarantine facilities, stable block, training facilities and equipment and a range of equipment to ensure the efficient running of the facility.
A tractor tops LASI's wish list
“A tractor with a slasher and auger is our number one wish,” she said.
“And things like a ute, stable facilities, round yard panels, even a quad bike and baling equipment would be extremely helpful to assist us to be more established.”
While awaiting the results of submissions and the preparation of grant funding applications Diana and her horses are sharing a happy co-existence and helping put lives back on track.
“Among the horses I have come across are Group One winners and mares that have foaled Group One winners,” she said.
“I have an unshakable belief that horses should be given every opportunity to live out their full life. I will never put a horse down unless it is in the animal’s best interests to end pain and suffering.
“Some of the horses are being used for equine therapy. It seems that horses, due to their own past adversity, have shown an aptitude for relating to humans that have equally suffered in some way.”
Diana has a task ahead of her. but she is achieving at the rate of one fencepost at a time.
“I really would welcome volunteers to help out with what LASI is endeavouring to achieve,” she said.
“Volunteers, donations, feed, anything to improve the outcome for the horses would be great.
“We are also on the lookout for a new volunteer treasurer that has bookkeeping skills.”
Diana can also be contacted by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0455 457 454.
For donations, please contact LASI first, to verify these details:
- BSB: 633 000, account: 169455565