Sunday, June 09, 2013

Australia: Battle-hardened Excalibur wins Tom Quilty - Full Article

June 9 2013
Cassie Hough

A fight to the finish on the weekend made for one of the most exciting conclusions in the history of the Tom Quilty Gold Cup.

Defending champion Brook Sample had six Tom Quilty Gold Cup wins to his name going in to this year's event, but he had never won in his home state of Queensland.

Mr Sample led in the final leg of the race but he and his horse Brookleigh Excalibur were challenged by Akhmed Pshunov on Tarrangower Crecendo on the home straight.

Mr Sample says he has never been pushed so hard at the end of a Tom Quilty endurance ride before.

"It was full on, we were flying at a full gallop and after doing 160 kilometres, having a full gallop down the grass verge was very exciting."

"He is such a courageous horse, I actually slowed him up in that last loop and the other guy caught me and I just wanted to slow my horse up, I didn't want to hurt him."

"But as soon as the other guy caught me my horse just lifted up a gear and he just said to me 'No way, I've not been doing this for 160kms to be beaten by this other horse' and he just took off, I couldn't hold him."

"When they finish like that and they really want to go, they're a 95 per cent chance of their heart rate coming down and vetting back through and being a happy wonderful horse."

Mr Sample and Excalibur crossed the finish line in a time of nine hours and 14 minutes, just one-and-a-half lengths ahead of Akhmed Pshunov on Tarrangower Crecendo...

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