Thursday, October 13, 2005

72 riders compete in Endurance Ride
Wednesday, 12 October 2005

A picture perfect weekend greeted the 72 riders that came to Woodstock on 24 & 25 September to compete in the 80km ride and take part in the 40km training ride. The district put on its best conditions allowing horses to travel over tracks that were soft under foot, with just a touch of humidity that hinted at the storms that would come just after the last floats drove out of the showground on Sunday afternoon.
The 80km ride was won by Peter Norman from Nowra on a 13 year old pure Arabian gelding, "Bellarine Pasha", in a riding time of 4 hours 37 minutes. The last rider completed the course in a time of 8 hours and one minute, well and truly within the maximum riding time of 9 hours. Successful local riders were Nikki Tucker riding "Sanlargo Mystique", Robin Gossip on "Sudan, Petrina Besedic riding "Anabriar Khaboul" and Erica Allan on "Ebony".

The course travelled through the properties of Guy Geeves and Yvonne Cousins, John and Kit Cooley, Clare Mcginniskin and Pat Macree, Andrew and Annette Bailey, Barry and Penny Gay and Barry and Jenny Blinman. All these landowners provided a magnificent backdrop for riders from all over the State to experience our marvellous district in all its seasonal glory.

The ride was supported by many locals including Graham and Karen Gay, Brett Blinman, Margaret Hamilton, Alan Carter, Larah Eamens and members of the Cowra Cadets working in the timing tent. Kit and John Cooley were ever present in the Vetting area taking pulse rates before the horses presented to the vets. Dawn Cummins stewarded a gate for the best part of the morning and the Cowra Cadets also helped by sitting at the many gates that remained opened for the duration of the ride. The Cowra Cadets also catered a magnificent dinner on Saturday night with funds raised going towards their end of year festivities.

Dirt bikes were given a work out by Phil Tucker, Steve Green and Luke Tidswell who went around the course to open gates and check markers at 4.30am on Sunday and then shut all the gates at the end of the day. The Cowra Bush Fire Brigade provided excellent communications over the entire course and the Woodstock Bush Fire Brigade provided backup water for the horses. Other helpers included Nicole O'Connor who pencilled for the vets and Chris Newham and Judy O'Connor who ably assisted in the canteen.

Endurance riding provides an excellent opportunity for horse riders to enjoy country that they would not normally experience. Participants travel over courses that are well marked and watered and it never fails to amaze riders just how much the horses enjoy the whole "socialisation" with other horses.

The training ride concept built into the sport allows for riders to experience the course, without necessarily having to do a whole endurance ride of 80kms or more. This takes the pressure off having to train and feed to the same extent as having a fitter horse to do the longer distances.

Next year, Lachlan Endurance Riders will hold its normal format of 80kms and 40kms and will also have a 20km ride for those wishing to have a taste of the sport. For more information on endurance riding, contact Karen Rhodes on 63450 257 ah, or Annette Bailey on 63450383 or go the NSW Endurance Riders Association web site at

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