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[RC] Tom Quilty Gold Cup ride report, part 2 - Jay Randle

And they were off!!!!  Out of the brightly-lit arena and into the darkness of the early morning, over 200 horses quietly departed on their long and gruelling day.  The first two phases of the ride ended at an away Vet-check called "Treeby's", which was at the top of a long and tiring climb for both horses and riders.  Here we met our charges as they arrived, and were successful in getting all but one horse through the second Vet check.  Unfortunately Liz Cullam, riding Bullarto Fiorelli, was vetted out after 70kms with a slightly elevated heart rate (due to a VERY excited horse!).  The ride organisers had all the transportation of horses back to base camp very well organised, and Fiorelli was floated back to be checked out by the Treatment Vet there.  All was good however, and she was pronounced well and happy and returned immediately to her yard for a big feed! 
The third phase of the ride returned to the Nanango showgrounds, and here we had our first withdrawal of the day, with 16-year-old Lilonda Count Richael (Ricky) looking a bit tired after doing 100kms in the heat!  So unfortunately my great friend, Kim Fuess of the USA, only experienced part of the 2008 Tom Quilty!  Oh, but let me mention the heat!!!  It was HOT!  Very hot!  There were several casualties after the second and third legs due to the heat, and the water provided on track and at the Vet checks was used at a great rate of knots!  After all the remaining riders came back in off the fourth leg we suffered another Vet out when Aratahnes Galaxy (Chevy) was lame in the trot out, therefore knocking John Dugan out of the ride.   And it was at this stage that Riyo Noyori decided that she wasn't able to continue her ride, and therefore the great little Bulgari Bentley was withdrawn (looking great, and obviously able to continue easily!!).
I was just about to send our Japanese riders off onto the fifth leg, when a storm warning was posted, so I decided to hold them in camp until the storm passed, and BOY! was I glad I did!   The mother of all storms was suddenly upon us, and we all huddled under the marquee throughout the lightning and thunder, hail and rain that swirled all around us.  For over an hour we were deluged, and our thoughts and prayers were with those riders out on track with their horses.  I was extremely concerned because my two youngest riders, Tarni and Ingrid, were out there along with Charisse.  But then we heard excited screaming approaching through the storm, and Tarni and Ingrid appeared out of the rain with their horses, Splendacrest Dryad and Shaah, having finished the last leg of the ride in the storm.  We hastily put the horses into a secure yard, and then left them to their own devices....... no strapping measures taken, just hoping that they would survive the storm!   The girls were soaked and freezing (along with the rest of us), but that didn't stop their excitement at having completed the 160km course.
The rain finally abated, and with it came the news that Charisse was on her way in off track, so we eagerly awaited her arrival at the finish line.  She arrived with stories of lightning striking close by, and the biggest storm she'd ever seen!  Apparently she had decided to get off her mount, Bacchante Silver Lace, and run along the track to keep warm!  During the storm the Vetting area was totally closed down for 1.5 hours, and the ride officials decided to suspend the ride for that period of time, adding 1.5 hours to the total riding time to be allowed for completion.

Best regards

Jay Randle
"If you want control, get a remote!"

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