Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Australia: Clare in running to host Tom Quilty

Northernargus.com.au

CHELSEA ASHMEADE
17/06/2009

Australia's biggest endurance horse riding event, the Tom Quilty, may be held in Clare in 2011.

Clare Agricultural and Horticultural Show Society hopes to host the event on its extensive site at the southern entrance to Clare.

"A local chap contacted me and asked if we can have it, or if we were interested in holding the event," show society president Norm Crowther said.

The South Australian Endurance Riders Association will holding its state championships in Clare next year which will put the showgrounds to the test as a venue.

"Next year they are coming to Clare, we have a meeting at the end of the week to talk more about the Tom Quilty," Mr Crowther said.

"But next year there could be about 60 to 80 horses on the grounds which will be a reasonable test on the system."

The meeting to be held at the end of the week will include a representative from the SAERA, Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council, the Clare Agricultural and Horticultural Show Society and other town groups.

"We have to know all the information possible for both events so we can start organising our grounds. It is prestigious to be able to hold an event like this in our area, and having an area big enough for their use is fantastic," Norm said.

Facts about the Tom Quilty:

Tom Quilty was a legendary Kimberley cattleman who was approached by R.M Williams to donate $1000 toward the perpetual trophy, the Tom Quilty Gold Cup in 1966.

The ride used to be known as 100 miles and is now defined in metric (160km), yet the spirit of the event remains; to complete the distance in a day.

The event draws competitors from throughout Australia and overseas.

The trophy has more than 38 ounces of gold and is heavier than the Melbourne Cup, it’s so valuable it now resides in the Stockman’s Hall of Fame at Longreach, Queensland and a gold plated replica is presented in its place.

It begins at midnight and goes throughout the day until all are finished, whether they complete or withdraw.

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