Pair ride out for re­cov­ery

Alpine Observer - - News - By JUSTIN JEN­VEY

A PAIR of horse rid­ing en­thu­si­asts will em­bark on a near month-long trip on the Bi­cen­ten­nial Na­tional Trail next week­end.

Myrtle­ford’s Mick Dwyer and Free­burgh’s Dean Cu­nico will share the trek along the track orig­i­nally known as the Na­tional Horse Trail, which stretches 5330 kilo­me­tres from Healesville to Cook­town in Queens­land.

But the two won’t go close to that dis­tance.

They’ll ride 400km from Healesville to Omeo, a jour­ney that will take them three and a half weeks.

They set off next Sun­day, just two days after Mick, a teacher at Myrtle­ford P12 Col­lege, of­fi­cially re­tires.

“A cou­ple of years ago I got crook with Guil­lain-Barré syn­drome and spent a bit of time in in­ten­sive care,” he siaid.

“It paral­ysed me com­pletely from the shoul­ders down for three weeks so I thought I want to do some­thing like this while I can.

“I have done a lot of five and six day trips but they’ve al­ways been with a backup ve­hi­cle.

“This will be the first full-on pack trip I’ve done. “I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to it. “It will be a great way to cleanse the mind.”

Dean has also had his own health is­sues - he suf­fered two strokes when just 15 years old which left him with paral­y­sis down his right side.

“I’ve been rid­ing for seven years now but I wouldn’t be do­ing this with­out Mick,” he said.

“I’m ex­cited but a lit­tle bit ner­vous too be­cause of the un­known.”

Dean said the trip had been a year in the pipe­line.

“Some days we will ride 40km oth­ers 18km de­pend­ing on the steep­ness and the ter­rain,” he said.

“We will ob­vi­ously carry ev­ery­thing we need from food, first aid, shoe­ing gear, swags, wet weather gear, some pro­tec­tive tarp, a so­lar charger, satel­lite phone and epirb.

“We have a rest day ev­ery four days and have peo­ple com­ing in at dif­fer­ent stages to bring us sup­plies.

“We’ve got to stick to the sched­ule be­cause of the fact those sup­port ve­hi­cles are meet­ing us on cer­tain days.”

The two com­pleted a full dress re­hearsal last week­end tak­ing their three horses - Cisco, Ringer and Meg - to Nug Nug where they camped the night be­fore re­turn­ing on Sun­day.

“We had a cou­ple of prob­lems on the way out but the trip back on Sun­day was all smooth sail­ing,” Mick said.

“We did the 16km in about three and half hours so that was pretty good time.

“We’ll make the load on the pack horse a lit­tle bit lighter and not as high so it was good to iden­tify those things ahead of the ac­tual ride.”

LONG DIS­TANCE TREK: Dean Cu­nico and Mick Dwyer will ride their horses from Healesville to Omeo later this month.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.