Stark contrast: Torryburn Stud owner John Cornish standing on a bridge over the Allyn River in February 2014. The river had stopped flowing and was too low to be used to pump water.Stark contrast: Torryburn Stud owner John Cornish standing on a bridge over the Allyn River in February 2014. The river had stopped flowing and was too low to be used to pump water. Photo: Peter Stoop

Torryburn Stud owner John Cornish is marvelling at the bravery of his staff and the motherly instinct of a nanny mare after a remarkable rescue near Dungog on Tuesday.

The property where Dorothea Mackellar wrote My Country, which contains the famous words “I love a sunburnt country” and continues on to “Of droughts and flooding rains” was inundated when the Allyn River broke its banks.