Rid­ers go­ing the dis­tance

Event at­tracts en­trants from across world

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - News - ERLE LEVEY erle.levey@sc­news.com.au

MORE than 150 en­durance rid­ers from as far afield as Osaka in Ja­pan and Mt Martha in Vic­to­ria sad­dled up in Im­bil on Sun­day, May 14, to take on the di­verse forestry ter­rain around the Stir­ling’s Cross­ing Eques­trian Com­plex over 40km, 80km and 120km dis­tances. The Aus­tralian En­durance Rid­ers As­so­ci­a­tion event at­tracted about 400 vis­i­tors to the re­gion, thanks to fam­i­lies and sup­port crew mem­bers join­ing the rid­ers.

Event host and Stir­ling’s Cross­ing Eques­trian Com­plex owner Matthew Sam­ple said he was de­lighted with how the event, which was over­sub­scribed, had gone and con­grat­u­lated the win­ners on their ex­cep­tional re­sults.

“It was won­der­ful to have the cur­rent Queens­land State Cham­pion and Im­bil lo­cal Kaylea Ma­her take the win in the light­weight cat­e­gory and Boreen Point res­i­dent and 2016 Pat Slater Cup win­ner Kelsey Irvine take home the mid­dleweight ti­tle,” Mr Sam­ple said.

“Ke­nil­worth was also well rep­re­sented, with Leigh Ann Sam­ple tak­ing sec­ond in the light­weight cat­e­gory as well as best con­di­tioned, while her son Matty came in third in the ju­niors af­ter win­ner Emma Dimech and run­ner-up Maeve Paten.”

En­durance rid­ing has a long his­tory, hav­ing started in the early 1900s as a mil­i­tary test for cav­alry mounts. To­day the con­trolled, long-dis­tance rides in­volve com­peti­tors cov­er­ing large dis­tances across di­verse ter­rain.

The win­ning rider and horse are those who cross the fin­ish line first, hav­ing passed a num­ber of ve­teri­nary checks along the way, in­clud­ing af­ter the fin­ish, to en­sure the horse is fit and in a good con­di­tion.

“It re­ally was a fan­tas­tic week­end and the feed­back we’ve had has been re­ally pos­i­tive from all who were in­volved,” Mr Sam­ple said.

“This is the sec­ond ma­jor

❝such Events

as these bring great eco­nomic ben­e­fit to the re­gion so it’s a win-win for ev­ery­one... — Matthew Sam­ple

event we’ve hosted at the com­plex and we’re re­ally happy with how it all went.

“Stir­ling’s Cross­ing Eques­trian Com­plex is the only pur­pose-built en­durance venue in Aus­tralia and we’ve worked hard to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment where the rid­ers can re­ally get the best re­sults, both for them­selves and their horses.

“I am re­ally proud of how ev­ery­thing came to­gether and we are now look­ing for­ward to the next ma­jor event in early Au­gust when we host FEI 1*, 2* and 3* rides in­clud­ing the Bul­lio Ara­bi­ans 2* Trans Tas­man Chal­lenge.

“I’d like to thank the team at Stir­ling’s and the won­der­ful sup­port we’ve had from the lo­cal com­mu­nity to date.

“It re­ally helps when we wel­come those who travel here from across Aus­tralia and over­seas as we’d love them to keep com­ing back to Im­bil. Events such as these bring great eco­nomic ben­e­fit to the re­gion so it’s a win-win for ev­ery­one.” Set in the hills of the pic­turesque Mary Val­ley on Queens­land’s Sun­shine Coast, Stir­ling’s Cross­ing Eques­trian Com­plex is Aus­tralia’s first pur­pose-built en­durance fa­cil­ity.

The im­pres­sive com­plex com­bines state-of-the-art fa­cil­i­ties with beau­ti­ful, di­verse to­pog­ra­phy and hosts a range of eques­trian events ev­ery year.

TOP JOB: Kelsey Irvine (right), of Yalanga at Boreen Point, and her sis­ter Jess Irvine, who was strap­per for Karma. PHO­TOS: ERLE LEVEY

The Aus­tralian En­durance Rid­ers As­so­ci­a­tion event at Stir­ling’s Cross­ing Eques­trian Com­plex, Im­bil.

Gayle Holnes, of Widgee, runs Cairo at the test­ing area un­der the watch­ful eye of Ke­nil­worth vet Julie Kemp.

Beau Bikker, of Fern­vale, and Boms Away at the com­ple­tion of the 120km at the AERA event.

Ema Ba­sic, of Yan­d­ina, and Crys­tal Rizk, of Ip­swich, near the fin­ish of the 120km at Im­bil.

Gwen Bar­tolo rid­ing to the fin­ish line in the 120km at the Aus­tralian En­durance Rid­ers As­so­ci­a­tion event.

Anna Wy­roslak, of Poland, and Jeanna Ma­her, of Im­bil, with Chap­pie at Im­bil.

Kaylea Ma­her and Chel­lea­son Rem­brandt were sec­ond across the line win­ner of the light­weight divi­sion.

Emma Dimech, of Oakey, and Aqaba Pride, or Erin, first in the 120km ju­nior divi­sion.

Belli Park vet Peter Agnew with Kaylea Ma­her and Chel­lea­son Rem­brandt, of No Re­gret En­durance, Cal­ico Creek.

Jim Green presents awards to Ge­or­gia Drew, of Tarome, and Erin Web­ber, of Cur­rumbin, at the AERA event.

Chief stew­ard Dick Col­lier, of Ley­burn, and Rob Curtin at the Stir­ling’s Cross­ing Eques­trian Com­plex, Im­bil.

Kelsey Irvine and Karma, over­all win­ner of the 120km mid­dleweight divi­sion.

Gayle Holnes, of Widgee, runs Cairo at the test­ing area un­der the watch­ful eye of Ke­nil­worth vet Julie Kemp.

Matt Sam­ple, of Stir­ling’s Cross­ing Eques­trian Com­plex, Im­bil.

Toowoomba vet Lach­lan Cameron at Im­bil.

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