Thursday, July 17, 2008

Australia: Endurance test for Fleming

The Invernell Times
18/07/2008 10:06:00 AM
HARDWORK: Clare Fleming and Arab gelding Mangueira Moksha at the Queensland State Championships. Photo: Mick Goater

INVERELL endurance rider Clare Fleming has returned successful from the NSW and Queensland state championships.

The events were only one week apart this year and Fleming said her motto was “to complete is to win”.

The endurance championships involve a 100 mile (160km) ride in one day, which is divided up into a minimum of five tracks.

Horses are presented to the vetting team before the ride begins and then at the end of each track.

Only if the horse is deemed fit to continue, the rider is able to set off onto the next part of the ride.

“After vetting through successfully at the end, riding 100 miles (160km) in one day, I definitely feel like a winner,” Fleming said.

It was a long week for Fleming, it started with a 2am start on Sunday when she saddled up her bay Anglo mare Birramalee Queen of Hearts and set off to ride 100 miles in the countryside surrounding Manilla.

There where five legs - 43km, 43km, 30km, 30km and 14km.

After riding for fourteen hours and one minute, Fleming’s mare was judged by the vetting panel to be sound and healthy.

Together, they placed eighth Lightweight, and were among the 53.49 per cent of the initial 86 riders that completed the ride successfully.

Fleming was very pleased with this result because last year, at the QLD State Championships her mare was vetted out after riding the 100 miles.

Then less than one week later at 1am on Saturday, Fleming again saddled up.

This time, she rode her grey Arab gelding Mangueira Moksha.

This ride was based at Imbil in QLD, and consisted of six legs: 37km, 32km, 30km, 35km, 21km, and 15km.

At the fourth leg of the ride, the vets were very concerned about the tenderness displayed by Moksha at the touch of their hand in the saddle area. It looked like he was going to be vetted out.

Fleming then applied ice to his back, changed saddles and rode a lot slower in the last two legs of the ride.

This strategy worked with Fleming and Moksha successfully completing the ride with a time of 13 hours and 56 minutes.

Together, they placed second Lightweight and were amongst the 52 per cent of the 55 riders that completed.

Fleming said it was a very challenging ride in the mountains.

The Red Truck Raggers, made up of Fleming, Leila Calander and Ian Davidson, won the team event with the fastest combined riding time for the 100 miles.

They were presented with the Timms Trophy.

This year the Tom Quilty Gold Cup Ride is at Nanango in QLD.

Fleming is hoping to compete in this international event and in just 10 weeks time she will again saddle up one of her endurance horses to ride 100 miles in one day.
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