by: Margaret Maccoll, Southern Star
From: Quest Newspapers
December 16, 2011
Rochedale equestrian rider Stephen Gray will head to New Zealand without his horse on January 26 for an endurance horse-riding event.
Gray will represent Australia in the 160km Trans Tasman endurance race in which the host nation supplies horses to its visitors.
Gray has competed in endurance events since 2000 after taking up the sport for interest and falling in love with it.
From his semi-rural property he maintains nine horses, devoting much of his time to providing them with special attention as well as training and preparing for competitions.
``Endurance riding is a major growing sport in Australia and overseas, as is evidenced by the growing number of horses and popularity of equestrian sports throughout Australia, particularly in areas close to the city,'' he said.
On this occasion, however, he will be training and riding a New Zealand horse unknown to him which will add another dimension to his competition riding.
During his 12 days in New Zealand attending the Trans Tasman Event in the South Island of New Zealand, he will encounter extremely difficult and rugged terrain, which will test the stamina of both horse and rider.