They liked the balm so much they now sell it
Two former Matamata jockeys with spinal injuries have had ‘‘a hell of ride’’ importing a Thai balm that may help ease discomfort for the elderly and the injured.
Trevor Harrison and Bryce Waters have known each other since 1974 when they were apprentice jockeys. Both suffered spinal injuries and now they are hoping to ease the discomfort of others.
Trevor Harrison, an official race day starter, was in Bangkok assisting a round at the start when he hurt his ankle and tried the Slack Pangpon Balm.
‘‘I couldn’t believe the quick reaction I had to it. I bought six bottles and they just sat in the cupboard until Bryce hurt his wrist. I said rub some of this balm and in 20 minutes, his discomfort was gone,’’ said Mr Harrison.
They decided to import the balm to help others like themselves. However, it was not easy. There were a series of checkpoints, from Ministry of Health to Environmental Science and Research approval.
‘‘It has been a massive undertaking. It has been hell of a ride to get to where we are now,’’ said Mr Waters. The balm has spread like wildfire since then, reaching as far as New Zealand troops in Afghanistan. Mr Waters said one of their distributors passed it on to her uncle who is a senior sergeant and it had caught on.
‘‘The response has been unbelievable. We’ve got 40 distributors from Kaitaia to Gore.’’
Their endeavour to get the product out in the market was driven by their own struggle with injuries.
Bryce Waters said he had broken his ankle three times.
‘‘I can move my toes after 24 years. It has just loosened everything up in that area.
‘‘We wouldn’t have done this, if it hadn’t done this for us.’’
The balm is being used for various purposes by people from different backgrounds to self-medicate. Race horse and greyhound trainers are using it on their animals to relieve the stiffness.
People who have used the balm say it also works wonders for coughs and colds.
The balm is available through distributors and at various vet clinics and chemists and at least one major wholesaler.
It is being used by spinal throughout New Zealand.
Easing discomfort: Former Matamata jockeys Trevor Harrison and Bryce Waters hold bottles of Slack Pangpon Balm.