An endurance riding event in the Mary Valley at Easter will enable riders to try to qualify for the Tom Quilty Gold Cup National Championship.
An endurance riding event in the Mary Valley at Easter will enable riders to try to qualify for the Tom Quilty Gold Cup National Championship. Contributed

Riders set to qualify for Tom Quilty cup

ENDURANCE riders at the Easter carnival in the Mary Valley get their last chance to qualify for the famous Tom Quilty Gold Cup National Championship event being held in Kilkivan this year.

The new feature event - a 160km "Tom Quilty Queensland Qualifier" was added to the Far A Way Easter Endurance Carnival, FAW president Geoff Fisher said.

"With the annual rotation of the Tom Quilty around Australia, it will be six years before Queensland riders again have the chance to compete in their own state," Mr Fisher said.

Endurance horse riders from across Australia will join international competitors at Imbil this Easter to compete in a huge endurance riding program developed by event organiser, Far A Way Riders Association.

Events ranging from 20km to 320km see the Easter carnival as the annual highlight for many Queensland endurance riders and others from across Australia.

More than 300 competitors and their horses will camp at the Imbil Showground over the holiday period.

The signature Easter Endurance Carnival event is the 320km marathon spanning four days, and an experienced team of equine veterinarians headed up by Jon Fearnley, the 2013 Tom Quilty Gold Cup head veterinarian, will be working throughout the carnival to assess and ensure horses' fitness to continue in the competition. Many competitors say that it is fortunate that riders are not given the same scrutiny.

First timers are encouraged to "come and try" in the 20km introduction event. Other events include a 120km mini-marathon event, two 80km Open events and two 40km training events.

For additional information go to the Far-A-Way Endurance Riders Association website.

Gympie Times


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