Countdown to the Cup
AT MIDNIGHT on Friday July 12 more than 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.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
FINE FORM: Defending champion Kristie Taprell will be aiming for her third Tom Quilty Gold Cup title in Imbil .