The Fernvale sports and rodeo grounds (and community church facility) are becoming very familiar to all of us SE Queenslanders, with this being the fourth ride held here so far this year! Oz Endurance Inc has been host to riders from all over the place, and this weekend was no different... with the Castlebar crew making the trip up from Victoria as well as many other NSW and VIC riders coming along too. (Hi Duncan!!)
The weather was clear and warm during the days, with cooler nights. The track was quite hard underfoot, and 'competitive' horses had been warned to be padded in advance. I chose not to pad any of mine, as we have not had any rain to speak of, and our training tracks are very hard anyway... so my horses were primed!
The facilities at this ride base are adequate, but there were a few hassels with the bigger rigs driving around the arena and getting stuck on the 'mound' halfway, due to the normal access being blocked off to traffic.
The presence of the Malaysian King and his entourage meant that the security blokes were very visible all weekend, and the limo drivers seemed to be pretty impressed and interested in the goings-on of the ride. A large contingent of other Malaysian and UAE riders also made for a real international flavour to the ride. Gilly Wheeler was also in attendance, so doubtless there will be a write-up in the next edition of Endurance World Online.
There were actually five different rides on during the day on Sunday, with an FEI*** 160km, an AERA 160km, an FEI** 80km, an AERA 80km, and an AERA 40km training ride.... meaning that the secretarial staff had a huge job to do. The volunteers came out of the woodwork to assist with the ride, and the FEI officials were also drawn from around the country. President of the Ground Jury was the awesome Barb Timms, and she kept everyone on their toes across the weekend.
I'd like to thank all the Veterinarians, the FEI Officials, the SES, the Ride Volunteers and the Ride Organisers for their efforts to make this ride the success that it was.
And the Splendacrest Team did have a very successful weekend!! I am thrilled with our results, and very proud to present such a cohesive team of riders and some very good horses!
In the FEI*** 160km ride, young Tarnia Kittel achieved 2nd placing in the Youth Division, and also then took out the Best Conditioned Horse award on Raaward Chanelle (owned by Zoe Gardner). Chanelle looked picture perfect the next morning at the BC workout, and certainly turned a few heads!
Gerard Bou completed his first ever 160km ride, riding Splendacrest Fiesta (owned by Shigeru Ogawa of Japan) to 14th Open placing in the FEI*** ride. We call this little mare 'the Machine', as she just never stops! G was a bit tired after it was all over, but extremely happy with his result... as he should be!
In the AERA 160km ride, young Ingrid Ambrosiussen rode one of Kate Gadsby's horses, Kazzy, to 2nd Junior placing.... for that horses' first 160km completion and Ingrid's second successful 160km ride.
In the FEI** 80km ride, Lisa Stoffel was mounted on Manana Gaylord, and also achieved 2nd Youth placing! (So that's three 2nd placings for these 3 young ladies over the weekend!) Thanks to Yvonne Knight for giving Lisa this ride!
In the AERA 80km ride, Angela Head had the responsibility for escorting our Japanese guest, Takeshi Ito, around. Angela (on Shaah) and Takeshi took out =9th Middleweight placing, with Takeshi being extremely happy to be once again riding his favourite horse, Splendacrest Perfection (owned by Shane Hopkins).
Jess Hewitt also completed the 80km ride, on Bacchante Silver Lace (also owned by Shane Hopkins), in 13th Middleweight position, bringing her into the Open Endurance Rider ranks with her third 80km completion! Congratulations Jess!
Amanda Powell completed the 40km ride on Summit Park Raz, and our thanks go to Lisa Stone for this ride!
I'd like to thank my crewing team of Sam Dobson, Britt Geddes, Jan Kittel, Viv Ambrosiussen, Shane Hopkins, Albie Knight, Yuko Crease, and Tanya and Roman Stoffel.... without you the weekend would not have been as successful or as fun!
One of the most amazing things I have ever seen in endurance occurred at the finish line of the FEI*** 160km ride. Brothers Matthew and Brook Sample WALKED over the finish line together, forcing a dead heat for 1st placing, and then Penny Toft and Meg Wade also WALKED over the finish line with their horses literally nose-to-nose forcing a dead heat for 3rd placing! The reaction from the crowd to this display of sportsmanship between these two highly competitive ladies was pretty wild!
Tanku Mizan (the Malaysian King) crossed the finish line for his 2nd successful WEC qualifying ride on the lovely appaloosa cross 'Pharaoh' and was surrounded by wellwishers, press, spectators, etc for some minutes, forcing his 'minders' into a mild panic!
All in all, a very good ride, and a great start to the season for us!
SPLENDACREST ENDURANCE TRAINING
3* OPEN 21 starters
1.Matthew Sample Brookleigh Ricardo 11:25:23 Average recovery time 3:40mins BC
1.Brook Sample Brookleigh Casper 11:25:23 Av rec time 4:51mins
3.Penny Toft Don 11:48:16 Av rec time 4:27mins
3.Meg Wade Castlebar Balik 11:48:16 Av rec time 5:05mins
5.Derek Armitage M P Mickerby 11:54:14 Av rec 03:40mins
6.Donna Weismann H'glen Zepplin 12:01:04 Av rec 09:36mins
7.Jan Tyrrell Fabio 12:07:55 Av rec time 08:34mins
8.HM Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidan MAL T M Pharoah 12:55:23 Av rec 07:53mins
9.Halim Alihan Brookleigh Kentara MAL 12:55:30 Av rec 07:11mins
10.Mark Tylee Rowallan Curly Sue NZL 12:57:23 Av rec 8:35mins
11.Mohd.Shauib Ashak Blue Bronco MAL 13:00:58 Av 06:45mins
12.Faizal Ishmail Edenfels Zephyr MAL 13:01:02 Av rec 08:08mins
13.Sarah Love Dancing Diplomat 13:08:50 Av rec 08:15mins
14.Gerard Bou Splendacrest Fiesta 13:49:45 Av rec 09:06mins
15.Kristie McGaffin Kurrajong Concorde 13:49:50 Av rec 02:33mins
Omair Al Bloushi UAE Stanpark Strike horse fell leg 1
Yousif Al Bloushi UAE Sha'ahmaliah gate 2 lame
Jennifer Gilbertson Ferrymaster gate 2 lame
Mohd. Apandi Muhamad MAL Elshada Silvr Instinct gate 3 lame
Amily Daw C'bar Kalahari gate 3 lame
Joyce Corbett Reeflex gate 6 lame
3* YOUTH 6 starters
1.Terri Anderson Ashwind 12:54:44 Av rec 04:23mins
2.Tarnia Kittel Raaward Chanelle 13:49:40 Av rec 05:30mins BC
3.Kathrine Ryan Leopard 14:43:50 Av rec 07:17mins
Shelley Kimber El Quantum gate 4 lame
Carmel Trevorrow Burrulga Bourbon gate 5 lame
Leila Callendar H'brook Knightrider gate 6
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