Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Australia: Endurance horse riding showcased in Tom Quilty Gold Cup

News.com.au - Full Article and a video

By Phil Hammond

October 01, 2008 05:15pm

IN the horse world, there's no better compliment than being recognised as a good rider. And in the popular sport of endurance riding, that means ensuring you ride so well that your horse stays healthy over vast distances.

So when the sport's national championship event; the Tom Quilty Gold Cup, was staged around Nanango in the South Burnett, it was a community gathering of people who adore their horses.

All year they compete and exercise their lean and elegant companions, covering multiple long-distance rides, which may include the 400km Shahzada ride and the 320km, four-day Faraway event.

Riders and horses must succeed in many events to qualify to enter the Quilty. The honour is to finish and be awarded a belt buckle.

At the weekend, 55 per cent of 204 starters finished the course. International competitor Meg Wade, from Victoria, was first home in under 11 hours, averaging 16km/h over the full distance. A massive storm on Saturday night caught 60 riders out on the course. One woman crawled beneath a parked car and held her horse's reins as rain bucketed down.

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