Saturday, July 04, 2009

Australia: Bareback ride a warm-up for Tom Quilty

Weekly Times Now
July 2, 2009

ENDURANCE riders think nothing of trotting and cantering their horses 160km as a warm-up for a major event.

But it's another thing when you ride that distance bareback, as Nikita Verspaardonk did on her horse Wally at the Upper Murray endurance riders challenge on June 21.

Nikita was one of several riders preparing for the world-famous Tom Quilty endurance ride, which starts at midnight on September 18 through the Tonimbuk State Forest.

The Upper Murray event was for riders in open classes and weight divisions.

In the two-star level event, Kristie McGaffin won the class and also took the important best-conditioned prize with Kurrajong Concorde. There were nine starters and seven completed.

In the one star class, leading Australian rider Penny Toft of Queensland finished ahead of 19 others to take honours on Don.

In the weight division, the heavyweight section was won by Leah Leishman on the Morgan-bred horse Mt Tawonga Wishing. The middleweight winner and best conditioned horse went to Merv Fisher's Wenway Eternity.

Kim Noble's lightweight winner was Mytkina, and Nicola Robinson's Shuja Bint Melika was best conditioned.

Samantha Noble took out the junior class.

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