Riders prepare for tough going in Tom Quilty Gold Cup
TODAY sees the Tom Quilty Gold Cup come to Kilkivan.
The endurance ride is arguably the toughest in Australia and was founded by the legendary RM Williams.
Since 1966, long distance competitive horse riding has been an organised sport in Australia.
The Tevis Cup endurance ride, held in the US since 1955, inspired RM Williams to start an Australian long distance race.
At the time he was editor of Hoofs and Horns, Australia's pioneer horse magazine.
Through his magazine, RM Williams extended an invitation to all those interested in conducting Australia's own 100 miles-in-one-day ride.
RM Williams also wrote to his friend Tom Quilty asking for his support for the ride. Quilty donated $1000 which was used to make a gold cup - the perpetual trophy for the winner of the event - and the ride was named the Tom Quilty Gold Cup in his honour.
The original gold cup is part of the Stockman's Hall of Fame collection at Longreach.
A committee was formed to organise the first 100-mile ride which was held in the Hawkesbury district near Sydney in 1966 with support from the University of Sydney's Rural Veterinary Centre, Camden.
Cash prizes were originally offered but a decision was made that riders would be satisfied with participating and for the honour of wearing the handsome silver Quilty Buckle. The buckle is still a highly regarded prize in endurance riding.