BY DANIEL MILLS
12 Oct, 2011 01:00 AM
SOME five years of endurance training between horse and human will reap the ultimate reward for Woodville's Dean Walkom.
The long-distance horserider, who competes in some of the most gruelling rides in the country, has trained his horse to carry him incredible distances in the sport known as long distance endurance horseriding.
Dean and his equine companion, Santa Pasa Zaraq, of Arabian breed, will receive the prestigious "Big three Award" next year.
The award recognises that the horse and his rider have competed in and successfully finished the NSW state championships, Shazdada 400km marathon and the Tom Quilty National Championships within the space of a year.
Both championship events consist of a 160km journey from start to finish while the marathon is a 400km trek spread over five days.
Dean most recently completed the Tom Quilty ride over the October long-weekend.
"The horse pulled up really well," Dean said.
"He just powered on to the finish."
The horse, at 12, is at the peak age for long-distance endurance riding and will now have a three month spell.
The task of competing in these rides took Dean five years, in which he broke in his own horse and trained it over 40, 80 and 120 km distances.