30 Jun, 2010 11:14 AM
ABOUT 300 riders, including four from Tenterfield, set off at midday on Friday to start the 2010 Tom Quilty 160km endurance ride.
Regarded as the Melbourne Cup of endurance rides, the Quilty was this year held in Manilla.
Tenterfield grandmother Jackie Parsons, aged 67, successfully completed the ride on Dunwingi Nova in her first attempt.
Mrs Parsons’ husband Dennis was there to offer support, as was her daughter who flew from Singapore for the prestigious event.
The ride completed a long-held dream for Mrs Parsons, but it wasn’t easy, she said.
“My horse seems a lot less tired than I am, and I’ll bet he doesn’t hurt in as many places as I do,” she said.
Tenterfield club members were also there to help out, as was the horse’s owner Hal Archer.
Rain before daylight meant dramatically changed conditions, making the track slippery and boggy in places. The track was broken up into five legs, with strict veterinary checks at each leg ruling out an increasing number of horses. Under endurance riding rules, no horse is allowed to continue if they are considered in any way unfit.
Mrs Parsons cut more than three hours off her qualifying time, but she wasn’t the only success in the race.
Hannah McQueen also managed to finish, in the process earning a coveted Quilty buckle.
Bad luck and the slippery conditions prevented Tenterfield’s other two riders, Philippa Lillyman and Dylan Keys, from finishing, as they joined many others in being ‘vetted out’.
Only 120 of the 300 riders that set off at midnight managed to finish the demanding ride.
The ride was won for the second year straight by Queensland rider Brook Sample, who finished in just eight and a half hours.
[Full article ... at http://www.tenterfieldstar.com.au/news/local/sport/general/67yearold-rides-160km-to-finish-quilty-cup/1871622.aspx]
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