Saturday, August 05, 2006

Many wins for keen endurance rider

GIDDY-UP: Corey Lunt and his Arabian gelding Assiff during an endurance race last weekend. Photo courtesy of Chris Ros
Thursday, 3 August 2006

THIRTEEN-year-old Corey Lunt and his 11 year old Arabian gelding, Assiff were proving to be a winning partnership on the endurance scene after notching up another first place at the Annual Wickepin Endurance ride last weekend.

The event consisted of three components, a 20 km and 40 km non-competitive training ride and an 80 km competitive ride.

Organisers Phillip Martin and Vanessa Crispe of Trehaven Merinos marked a course that traversed gravel roads and farming properties softened by rain the day prior to the event.

Unfortunately numbers were down this year, which was disappointing. This however, did not detract from the event, which will be well remembered for the wonderful hospitality that the members of the Ten Mile Tennis Club provided.

Fourteen horse and rider combinations took part in the 40 km ride and nine riders commenced the 20 km ride with Tim Wiesse of Narrogin and Lisa, Caleb and Danelle Murray of Tincurrin successfully completing.

Twentynine riders began the 80 km event with Corey not only coming first in the junior section and receiving the best conditioned junior horse but also recording the fastest overall time on the day, completing the course in five hours and 23 minutes.

WFI, Narrogin Sports Arena and Kel's Tyres of Narrogin sponsored the junior trophies.

Corey and Assiff began their endurance career together 12 months ago and to date have completed nine out of 11 rides, been awarded six first junior placings, one second placing, six best conditioned junior horse awards, and totalled over 800 successful kilometres.

Their biggest achievement together this year has been to successfully complete a 100 mile (160 kms) ride, the first for both horse and rider.

These 100 mile rides are particularly taxing as the riders commence at midnight by torchlight. They continue riding during the next day, taking only four breaks, no longer than one hour throughout the ride.

The horses must pass strict veterinary controls between legs in order to continue.

Corey and Assiff completed this course in a total riding time of 19 hours and 44 minutes being one of only six out of 14 starters to complete the ride.

They went on to win the junior section and best conditioned junior horse.

Completing this event qualified them for the Tom Quilty Gold Cup National event, which will be held in WA next year.

With over half the 2006 endurance season completed, Corey and Assiff are aiming to continue their winning form in the second half of the season and to complete the State Championship 100 mile event in September.

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