MySunshineCoast.com.au - Full Article
Published: 28th of June 2019
Prestigious 24-hour endurance horse ride brings national field to Queensland.
On midnight on Friday 12 July over 300 horses and their riders will take to the pitch dark tracks of the Imbil State Forest on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast to tackle Australia’s most prestigious endurance ride, the Tom Quilty Gold Cup.
Steeped in history and internationally recognised by the endurance community, this Tom Quilty Gold Cup will see riders ― from as young as 12 and right up to 78 years of age ― take on the challenge of completing a 160km course with just a headlight and their four-legged best friend for company.
This is a story of adventure; true grit; the incredible partnership between horse and rider and a passion for the sport of endurance, which goes right back to 1966 when R.M. Williams and his wife Erica established the iconic Aussie event.
Matthew Sample, the owner for Stirling’s Crossing Equestrian Complex which will host the Tom Quilty Gold Cup for the first time, said he and his team were delighted to welcome what many expect will be one of the biggest event in its 54-year history.
“We’re excited that the 2019 Tom Quilty Gold Cup is coming to Imbil and expect our local population of around 900 will at least triple in the week leading up to the event,” Mr Sample said.
“The who’s who of endurance will be here with defending champion Kristie Taprell hoping to win her third title being joined in the field by 2016 winner Debbie Grull, 2015 winner Ben Hudson and 2013 winner Brook Sample who hopes to continue to build on his existing record of seven Tom Quilty Gold Cup wins.
“Also worth noting is the high number of juniors expected to take to the track for the first time this year which is great news for the future of endurance. We currently have five 12-year-olds nominated who all successfully completed a 160km ride last year to qualify for this event and I’m very proud to say that the youngest of these is my nephew Zac Sample who can’t wait to take on his first Tom Quilty...
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