Horse en­durance cup

Tough con­di­tions with high temps

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

AF­TER 10-and-a half-hours of rid­ing on di­verse ter­rain, this year’s Eques­trian Aus­tralia En­durance Cham­pi­onships came down to the last two sec­onds with Akhmed Pshuno from Im­bil tak­ing out the na­tional ti­tle ahead of fel­low lo­cal and cur­rent Queens­land State Cham­pion Kaylea Ma­her.

Pshunov, rid­ing San­gah The Mes­siah, com­pleted the 160km course at an av­er­age speed of about 15kmh af­ter set­ting off at 3am Satur­day morn­ing, Au­gust 19.

It was a close race through­out with run­ner-up Kaylea Ma­her, rid­ing A’Lan­dell Ali, once again hav­ing to set­tle for sec­ond place af­ter com­ing in only three sec­onds be­hind the win­ner in the 2016 Cham­pi­onships.

Matthew Sam­ple, owner of the host­ing venue Stir­ling’s Cross­ing Eques­trian Com­plex, said the event was a great suc­cess and con­grat­u­lated Mr Pshunov on the win.

“Akhmed had a great ride and the com­pe­ti­tion was tight through­out. It’s al­ways

It’s al­ways ex­cit­ing when an en­durance event comes down to the fi­nal sec­onds. — Matthew Sam­ple

ex­cit­ing when an en­durance event comes down to the fi­nal sec­onds,” Mr Sam­ple said.

“We are de­lighted to be host­ing the na­tional cham­pi­onships for the sec­ond year in a row and thank every­one for their in­volve­ment and sup­port.”

Third place went to Brook Sam­ple from Ke­nil­worth who rode Brook­leigh Bai­ley over the fin­ish line, se­cur­ing a time of 11 hours and four min­utes.

Tracy-Lee Fel­trin took out first place in the 120km race, which also took place Satu­day.

In the 80km ride on Fri­day four out of the top five rid­ers were from the Im­bil area.

Fiona Fenech from Kilki­van took out top hon­ours, closely fol­lowed by Sor­sha Stu­ar­tRokvic from Ta­ble Top in New South Wales, Stephen Gray from Coop­ers Plains, Leigh Ann Sam­ple from Ke­nil­worth and Akhmed Pshunov from Im­bil.

Con­di­tions were tougher than ex­pected, with tem­per­a­tures be­ing un­sea­son­ably high for this time of year but event or­gan­iser and com­plex owner Matthew Sam­ple said he was de­lighted with the event.

“Con­grat­u­la­tions to Fiona on a great ride. It’s al­ways fan­tas­tic to see lo­cals ex­cel on the na­tional stage,’’ he said

Mr Sam­ple said rid­ers trav­elled from New Zealand to take part in the meet, with the res­ur­rec­tion of the Bul­lio Ara­bi­ans Trans-Tas­man Chal­lenge which was last hosted in 2011.

“This is a friendly, in­ter­na­tional-level com­pe­ti­tion held an­nu­ally with New Zealand and host­ing of the event is al­ter­nated be­tween the two coun­tries,” he said.

“It was a reg­u­lar fea­ture on the en­durance cal­en­dar and we’re re­ally pleased to have been se­lected to re­in­state the event and to welcome fel­low com­peti­tors from over the Tas­man.”

For full re­sults visit www.aeras­pace.com.au.

PHOTOS: SARAH SUL­LI­VAN

Akhmed Pshunov takes out the 160km event in the 2017 Eques­trian Aus­tralia En­durance Cham­pi­onships rid­ing San­gah The Mes­siah. The event was held at Stir­lings Cross­ing Eques­trian Com­plex, Im­bil.

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