Saturday, December 26, 2015

Australia: Think 3200 metres is a horse race for stayers? Try 160 kilometres - Full Article

December 26 2015
Konrad Marshall

The sport of endurance riding is not for the faint-hearted.

There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the colt from old Regret had got away,
And had joined the wild bush horses – he was worth a thousand pound, So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far
Had mustered at the homestead overnight,
For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,
And the stockhorse snuffs the battle with delight.

Banjo Patterson's poem The Man from Snowy River was first published 125 years ago – an elegant narrative capturing the nature of hard riding in an unforgiving land.

The Verspaandonk family rides this way, too, only not chasing a brumby mob (or the colt from Old Regret) but in pursuit of a decent time and good form.

The Glengarry family competes in the obscure but fast growing sport of endurance riding, covering long distances over difficult terrain on horseback.

The motto of the pastime – "to complete is to win" – hints at what is required.

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