Imbil now home to purpose-built endurance centre
THE equestrian world has come to Imbil forest this weekend, to experience Australia's first purpose-built endurance riding centre.
The centre, headquarters of the newly formed Sterling Crossing Endurance Association, was a cow paddock only 12 weeks ago.
But it has been a big 12 weeks, club founder and endurance ride organiser Matthew Sample told The Gympie Times.
"We've spent millions," he said. "We've done a lot in a very short time."
"We've only employed local workers and tradies," he said.
"A lot of fertiliser," he explained as he spoke of the transformation he has overseen, to get the 59-hectare property up to scratch for the internationally accredited 2016 Equestrian Australian Endurance Championships.
"I plan to attend equestrian events of all kinds to see which ones could also fit in here, including show jumping and dressage."
This weekend, the property is home base for more 100 endurance riders and teams of supporters from as far as New Zealand, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, France, and Poland.
The event will be held for four days, over up to 160km broken into "40km loops" with vet checks after each loop.
"The sport requires horses to have exceptional athleticism, intuition, intelligence and a very competitive nature," Mr Sample said.
It became a recognised equestrian event early last century as a military test for cavalry mounts, Mr Sample said .