Real test of endurance
MARYVALE Endurance Ride winner Tanya Trevarthen wasn't fazed by riding with a torch at 4.30am yesterday. She does it every morning.
While she admits it is easier for horse and rider in daylight, she said her nine-year-old purebred Arabian named Sarandeep was fine trotting along in the dark.
She crossed the line at the same time as lightweight winner Jocelyn Barnes on Trinity but a lightweight can't win overall.
Trevarthen hails from Goombungee and has been competing in endurance riding for 25 years.
“I train with a torch in the morning before I go to work,” she said.
She has won a few 80km and 160km rides in the past and recorded second and third placings at state championship level.
Yesterday, Trevarthen described the tracks at the Maryvale 80km ride as challenging.
“The first leg (towards Freestone) was very steep and the second leg (towards the Gap) undulating,” she said.
“There was mud through all the valleys.”
The winner praised property owners in the ride area who put water out for the horses along the route.
“It was very much appreciated,” she said.
The win yesterday was not her first on the Southern Downs.
She has won rides before, including the Carmen Batterham Memorial Trophy for the highest placed lady in a 160km ride.
Trevarthen talks about the importance of the bond between horse and rider.
“You know your horse so well, it has the confidence to go anywhere you ask,” she said.
As well as the chance to work with her horse, Trevarthen said she loved being outdoors and that is exactly what happens in a long ride such as the Quilty, the Melbourne Cup of endurance riding.
“We completed last year's 160km Quilty at Manilla near Tamworth in 13 hours,” she said.
After every endurance ride, the placegetters have an anxious wait to see if they pass the veterinary check with their horses.
A heartbeat of 60 beats a minute or less is required to be a placegetter.
Yesterday, Sarandeep's heart rate was 40, up from an average of 36 or 37 in other endurance rides.
Ride organiser Jenny Noffke said the 80km ride would not have been possible except for the owners and management of Spicer's Peak Resort who allowed the use of their property for the second leg of the ride.
“We have wonderful support from property owners,” Noffke said.
“They couldn't have done more to help and weren't getting anything out of it.
“The Maryvale State School P&C did the catering.”
There were 127 horse and rider combinations in the ride and all camped on the Maryvale Sportsground on Saturday before the early start yesterday.
The event was the major one for the year for the Warwick-based club.