Kaye Sanders has dedicated her life to horses and now the thoroughbred breeding industry she has poured her heart and soul into is rallying to support her in her time of need.
On September 13 Kaye suffered a brain aneurysm and, due to complications during surgery, a stroke the following day requiring further surgery to alleviate swelling on the brain.
Kaye required a three week stay in ICU and was then transferred to the Neurology ward at the Christchurch Hospital. This week she was moved to Burwood Hospital where she will embark on her rehabilitation journey to develop enough independence to return home.
Kaye’s daughter Holly, who has been living in Australia since 2018, was fortunate enough to gain a spot in Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) and is currently in New Zealand counting down the days till she can be reunited with her mum.
“We’d just moved from Melbourne to Newcastle and a few weeks later mum had her aneurysm,” Holly, a civil engineer by trade, said. “I was fortunate enough to get a spot in MIQ so I packed up my life to move back and take over the horses and help mum.
“The whole MIQ process is very difficult and you are basically packing your life up without really knowing if you are going or not. Justine (Sclater, NZTBA CEO) and Gus Wigley (of Inglewood Stud) wrote a letter of support for my application which was so appreciated.”
Unfortunately, Holly’s partner was turned away at the border and is yet to gain confirmation of the ability to travel to New Zealand.
“Mum is on the recovery path but there has been other complications like infections that haven’t helped,” Holly said. “She has had to just keep battling on.
“It’s called left-sided neglect. Basically the brain doesn’t recognise the left side of her body.
“They don’t know her prognosis, they know it will be a long road but can’t say how long.”
The regard the local community have for Kaye was immediately apparent with everyone pitching in to ensure the horses at her Mansfield Park property in Rangiora were cared for.
“It’s been amazing,” Holly said. “Most things have been covered by friends like Carmen and Debbie and then I got in a couple of local girls for a week or two to help.
“Gus Wigley took her mares due to foal to Inglewood Stud and Annabel (Wigley) and Olly (Tuthill) have her War Decree yearling colt. I’ll be back on Monday.”
Debbie Kingsland, secretary of the Canterbury, Marlborough, Westland & Otago NZTBA branch said it wasn’t a hard decision for everyone step in and care for Kaye’s horses and now they will focus on how to help Kaye in the long-term.
“I’ve been on the CMWO branch committee six or seven years and Kaye was on it before I was,” Debbie said. “Kaye has always been involved in racing and breeding. She has done loads of yearling preps and turns them out beautifully between herself and Holly. She often got the top price at the South Island Yearling Sale.
“She is so passionate about her horses, just loves them and looks after them like they are her own babies.
“For her to have this horrid thing happen is going to be lifechanging for her.
“You look out for each other. We are a small committee and when we heard about her situation we swung into action to make sure we looked after the horses.
“You know Kaye would be the first person to help you if you needed it so it was an easy decision, everyone just rallied around.
“Once we had the welfare of the horses sorted it was about how we could help Kaye because this is her livelihood, breeding and preparing horses for sales. She is going to need a lot of support, her house will need renovation for starters.
“I think for Kaye to know people are helping out will help her recovery. Her horses would have been her biggest worry.”
As a tribute to Kaye’s huge contribution to the NZTBA and thoroughbred industry as a whole, the NZTBA have organised an auction via online auction platform gavelhouse.com with the funds raised going to support Kaye in her recovery.
“We felt we really needed to step up and support one of our own who is in need,” NZTBA CEO Justine Sclater said. “We have had so many generous donations from right around New Zealand and we are sure the funds raised will go some way to easing the financial burden of Kaye’s situation.”
The auction will run next week from Tuesday 26th October to Monday 1 November with items on offer including a tonne of Dunstan feed, a service to Vanbrugh donated by Windsor Park Stud, a service to Coats Choice or Highly Recommended donated by Berkley Stud, Unborn Foal Insurance policy to successful bidder on Vanbrugh and Coats Choice/Highly Recommended service nominations from NZB Insurance, a gift voucher from Race Images and framed pictures of some of horse racing’s legends.
Holly has been overwhelmed by the support and is thankful to everyone who has stepped in to help.
“The support we have got is overwhelming,” she said. “We are immensely grateful. There has been so much support and without it things would be so much harder. I could not be more thankful. It is so incredible what people will do.” -Amie Best, NZTBA
Items up for auction on gavelhouse.com to raise funds for Kaye include:
- A ton of Dunstan Breed And Grow
- Service to Vanbrugh, donated by Windsor Park Stud
- Service to Coats Choice or Highly Recommended, donated by Berkley Stud
- A service to Twin Blues Golden Legacy
- A service to Solitaire HL
- A horseshoe pin with Melody Belle’s hair entwined in it from Equine Mementos, two Te Akau Racing caps and a framed picture of Melody Belle from Trish Dunnell
- NRM & McMillan Equine feeds package
- A $500 transport voucher from NZ Horse Transport
In addition to the above, the below are also available via a silent auction. Email offers to Deb Kingsland by 7pm Monday 1 November – Click HERE
- A Featured gavelhouse.com listing valued at $400 + GST
- Race Images gift voucher to the value $245. Covers a fully framed & delivered race win photo for any winner since 2006 size 450 x 400mm
- Framed picture of Secretariat.
- Sir Tristram book signed by Sir Patrick Hogan.
- Two $150 SOHO Wine packages
- 15 reusable facemasks with logo from JD – thinking outside the square valued at $360
- NZTBA Membership and Stallion Register book valued at $195
- Cover Queen cover package valued at $500
- $200 Majestic Horse Transport voucher
- Two Harriet covers valued at $350
- $200 Prezzie Card donated by Fulton Hogan
- $100 Farmlands voucher
- $150 Betavet voucher
- A two baleage voucher from Ivy Farm valued at $200
- BONAFIDE® valued at $430
- POSEIDON Product Package valued at $344 kindly donated by Poseidon Equine.