Equestrianlife.com.au - Full Article
With the 160 km Tom Quilty Endurance ride commencing midnight on the 8th June in Tassie , read a quick history of the event.
Endurance riding has been an organised sport in Australia since 1966. Reports of the Tevis Cup endurance ride in the USA began reaching Australia. One person inspired by the concept of a long distance competitive horse ride was R. M. Williams, editor of Hoofs and Horns, a pioneer horse magazine in this country. An invitation was extended through the magazine for people interested in conducting Australia's own 100 miles in one day ride.
It was decided if the Americans could do it, so could the Aussies! The venue would be in the Hawkesbury district, near Sydney, New South Wales, being a relatively central, scenic location, with the support of the University of Sydney's Rural Veterinary Centre, Camden. A committee was formed to organise the first 100 mile ride.
R. M. Williams wrote to his friend Tom Quilty, a great horseman and cattleman in the Kimberly area of Western Australia. Williams asked for his support for the 100 miles ride, and Quilty donated $1000. This was used to make a gold cup, the prize for the winner of the event. This is a perpetual trophy, and the ride was named the Tom Quilty Gold Cup in his honour. The original Gold Cup now resides in the Stockman's Hall of Fame, in Longreach, Queensland.
Cash prizes were originally offered as incentive for competitors, however, at the last minute it was pointed out that local by-laws prohibited racing for money, over public roads. A meeting of riders and officials was held, and all resolved to ride for the satisfaction of simply participating, and for the honour of wearing the handsome silver Quilty buckle. The Quilty buckle is still a highly regarded prize in endurance with those who earn one treasuring it as equivalent to an Olympic Gold Medal.
The winner of the first Quilty was Gabriel Stecher, who rode his Arabian stallion ‘Shalawi' bareback the full 100 miles...
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