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2015 Tom Quilty Gold Cup - 50th Anniversary

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary event of the Tom Quilty Gold Cup.
June Long Weekend
6 & 7th June 2015

Riding back to where it all began

Batemansbaypost.com - Full Article

By SAM STRONG June 19, 2015,

HEIDI Wade of East Lynne has turned in a marathon-effort to finish 17th at the 50th anniversary of the Tom Quilty Gold Cup, a demanding 160-kilometre endurance horse riding race.

Wade, riding six-year-old pure Arabian Pevensey Prosecco in the heavyweight divison, was joined by fellow South Coast riders Roy Counsell aboard Espirit Sherwood in the middleweight division and Irene Adams on Shane D Survivor in the lightweight divison.

Unfortunately Counsell, who was aiming to finish his fifth Quilty, bowed out half-way through while Adams’ horse was declared lame after the fourth leg, with only 12 kilometres to go.

It was Wade’s first attempt at the world’s largest endurance ride – 340 riders set out at midnight amid torchlight - and there was plenty of hard work leading up to the competition.

Wade’s horse was just above minimum age and it had to have completed three 80-kilometre endurance rides previously.

“He is quite young to compete in this kind of endurance race but has proven to be an amazing horse,” Wade said.

“I am extremely proud of him and just to complete this ride is to win...

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Riding back to where it all began

Cowraguardian.com.au - Full Article

June 17, 2015, midnight

Six members of the Lachlan Endurance riders Club travelled to Wisemans Ferry to compete in the Tom Quilty Gold Cup this year.

It was the 50th Anniversary ride and was taken back to where it all started back in 1966 in the Hawkesbury Valley of NSW.

The midnight start saw 342 riders from all over Australia and 12 international riders head out into the darkness of a very challenging course, which consisted of five legs all returning for veterinary inspections to each horse to make sure they are fit to continue.

The winner this year was young Ben Hudson from Mudgee riding for OSO Arabians of Albury on Cap Braveheart a seven year old purebred stallion, in a time of 10 hours and 16 minutes...

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Imbil rider takes third in Tom Quilty Gold Cup

Gympietimes.com.au - Full Article

11 June 2015

ENDURANCE: Imbil rider Kaylea Maher won the lightweight division at the Tom Quilty Gold Cup at the weekend in Hawkesbury, New South Wales, and placed third overall.

Maher, 29, has been endurance riding for about 16 years and has competed in six Quilty Cups, completing four and two placing first in her division.

She said compared with other Quilties, this year's was very exciting and created a rush of adrenaline...

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Australia: Ben Hudson wins 50th anniversary of Tom Quilty endurance ride

ABC.net.au - Full Article

Cassie Hough and Mike Pritchard
June 8 2015

A little horse with a big heart has carried Ben Hudson from Mudgee in central New South Wales to his first win at the 50th Tom Quilty Gold Cup endurance ride.

There were 348 riders from across the country entered in the 160-kilometre ride, which is believed to be the biggest event of its kind in the world.

This was Mr Hudson's fourth Tom Quilty ride, having improved quickly from retiring early due to vetting out at his first ride to coming second last year and going one better this year to take home the cup.

After some competitive riding out on the track, Mr Hudson was able to trot over the finish line in a time of 10 hours, 16 minutes and 34 seconds.

"I was over the moon. I couldn't believe the effort my horse put it, it was a pretty good feeling. I was overwhelmed by the people and the support at the finish line," he said...

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Horse lovers brave 160km endurance race in the Hawkesbury


June 6 2015
Author: Michael Brissenden

ELIZABETH JACKSON: If you were lucky enough to have a good night's sleep last night, spare a thought for 348 gutsy horse lovers who have been riding since midnight, competing in the Tom Quilty endurance horse riding event.

The 160-kilometre race is underway as we go to air this morning in the Hawkesbury, just out of Sydney.It won't finish until about lunchtime today.

It's believed to be the longest event of its kind in the world, with riders negotiating some pretty rough terrain in the dark.

Cassie Hough is at the event, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.


50th Tom Quilty and Tracy Hofstrand: Riding the Continents

May 31 2015
by Merri Melde-Endurance.net

Horse riding and travel often go hand in hand. Californian Tracy Hofstrand is attempting to ride on all of the continents (Antarctica excluded, though she plans a visit there). Being an endurance rider, and being that Australia is another continent to conquer, and that the country just happens to hold a challenging endurance ride in the Tom Quilty, it was an obvious choice for Tracy to ride in it. "It is a difficult ride, a national championship. Also the ride has the most entries that I will ride in! It is bigger than Tevis which I did in 2012," Tracy says. "It offers a nice buckle for completion awards, has a big party afterwards, and the people are very generous and friendly."

Tracy's been riding endurance for 13 seasons, and has close to 3000 AERC miles. She will be riding Deanna and Roy Trevena’s 11-year-old Anglo-Arabian gelding Dumaresq Jackson. "Jack" has competed in endurance for 6 seasons; he completed the 2009 Shahzada 120-km Mini Marathon, and the 2014 400-km Shahzada. Tracy's husband Jeff will be her strapper for the ride.

She's looking forward to seeing the Sydney, Australia area, visiting friends and hosts Lee-anne and Charlie Guaci whom she met on the 2011 XP ride, riding the trail, and making new friends. Most of all, with a bit of luck, "I'm most looking forward to coming home with a buckle to keep my Tevis buckle company!"

50th Tom Quilty and The Pony Express Connection

May 29 2015
by Merri Melde-Endurance.net

You've got to watch out for those Aussies. They show up everywhere. It's particularly handy when they show up to participate in iconic American endurance adventures like the 2011 XP Pony Express. That's what Aussies Lee-anne and Charlie Guaci did, much to the delight of American endurance riders Brenda Benkly and Kathy Neunzig.

In the spirit of equine friendship forged by shared trails, which is so special and contagious (and somewhat unique) in our endurance sport, after spending weeks on the XP together, the Guacis offered Brenda and Kathy mounts in Australia if they wanted to ride in the Tom Quilty.

It will be Californian Brenda's first time in Australia. She's familiar with challenging endurance rides, with over 10,000 miles to her credit, and 19 100-mile finishes, including 7 Tevis buckles. She'll be riding the Gauci's 15-year-old part Arabian mare Charleville Lady on her first 100-mile ride.

The Quilty has been on Kathy's Bucket List for some time, and the 50th anniversary of the Quilty was an added incentive for Kathy to take the Guacis up on their offer this year. A 7800-mile endurance rider with 12 100-mile completions, she'll be riding the Gauci's Charleville Jack, a 13-year-old part Arabian on his first 100-mile ride.

"I am most looking forward to the whole event," Kathy says. "Reconnecting with friends, riding in one of the largest (if not THE largest) endurance events in the world-yikes!, seeing another country like few have the opportunity to, on horseback through the Australian bush, and getting my mount through his first 160K race.

"Such an opportunity!"

50th Tom Quilty and Paul Sidio: "Can you imagine anything more exciting?"

May 27 2015
May 27 2015
by Merri Melde-Endurance.net

It's those fun-loving, horse addicted Aussies that have Paul Sidio returning Down Under to ride in the Tom Quilty again. He rode in the 2013 Quilty but did not complete, but the people he met there made the trip incredibly enjoyable. "There was no doubt that we would head back to try again in 2015. The fact that it is the 50th edition only makes it even better," Paul says.

From Spokane, Missouri, Paul has been riding endurance in the USA for 13 seasons, with close to 4000 miles, and 13 100-mile completions. Paul finished Tevis twice on his gelding Piper (KMA Chazz Piper), and he loaned Piper to his Aussie friend Greysen Clark in 2014 for the Tevis. The pair made it 60 miles before being pulled. Greyson is returning the favor, supplying Paul's mount for this year's Quilty, 11-year-old Arabian Grey-Gun Vanharlen. Vanharlen has completed the Faraway Easter Carnival, a 320-km marathon, though the Quilty will be his first 100-mile ride.

Paul will be traveling with his wife, who will be his "strapper" for the ride (crew in Aussie talk).

"In Australia, for the Quilty and other big rides, they arrive early, have fun, and leave late," Paul says. "It is not just a one or two day thing; it is a week long funfest. I most look forward to the late night bonfires, and the tall tales being told . . . some of which are even partly true!"

With close to 400 horses scheduled to start the 100-mile ride at midnight, it will be an unforgettable experience. "They will have a big sports event large screen TV showing the leader board and on track videos. They will have loudspeakers playing music including the famous Tom Quilty Ballad. There will be stadium lights shining on the riders and horses as they circle and warm up for the start . . . at midnight . . .

"Can you imagine anything more exciting?"

Suspension of UAE endurance riders over cruelty leads to tension in lead up to Tom Quilty

ABC.net.au - Full Article

Michael Cavanagh
May 27 2015

Australia's endurance horse riding community is split over the international suspension of riders from the United Arab Emirates.

An international equestrian body voted to suspend riders from the UAE, because of allegations of poor animal welfare practices and cruelty. The recent death of Australian horse Splitters Creek in an UAE event brought the issue to the forefront.

The ructions come as preparations are underway for the staging of the 50th running of the prestigious Tom Quilty, a 160 kilometre endurance race at the Hawkesbury over the June long weekend.

The Australian Endurance Riders Association (AERA) supports the move against the UAE. However the New South Wales branch recently voted against the decision.

The Tom Quilty is regarded as the Melbourne Cup of endurance racing, attracting riders from all round the world with a 400-strong field expected this year due to the milestone reached...

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50th Tom Quilty and Jenna Towner: "I'm the luckiest person alive"

May 22 2015
by Merri Melde-Endurance.net

It's been called "the world's biggest horse endurance ride," and that may well be true, with 380 horses and riders on the start list for Australia's 50th anniversary of the Tom Quilty Gold Cup on June 6-7 in Hawkesbury, New South Wales.

It's the Australian equivalent of America's Tevis Cup: 100 miles in one day, the premiere ride that almost all endurance riders aspire to at some point in their endurance lives. The idea of the Quilty was started by Queenslander RM Williams in 1966, then editor of Hoof and Horns magazine, after hearing and printing stories about the Tevis Cup in California. RM asked his friend Tom Quilty, "a great horseman and cattleman" for help; Quilty donated $1000, which was used to make a gold cup, which became the perpetual trophy for the ride.

Of the nine riders from the USA scheduled to start in this year's Tom Quilty, it just might be Californian Jenna Towner who is the most excited. She signed up for the Quilty before she was even qualified to ride it.

"I'm 42 and just started riding Endurance two years ago," Jenna says. "I rode Hunter/Jumpers my whole life, but after incurring several injuries in Baghdad, I just couldn't afford to get thrown off a horse. Still, I longed for the woods - and since I could no longer go hiking with my dog (my favorite thing ever), this sport called to me with enormous vigor. I feel sincerely grateful every day that I found this sport . . . even if it took me 40 years."

With her own horse PR Toronto rehabbing from an injury, Jenna's good friend Kristen Vaught loaned her horse Sammies Ace to Jenna for the Twenty Mule Team 100 in February, for Jenna's first 100-mile ride. With the pair finishing the 100-mile ride, Jenna was qualified to start in the Quilty.

Jenna will ride the 11-year-old Anglo Arabian mare Monkhani Lodge Noble's Locket, owned by Emma Holland of Roswick Endurance in Victoria. Roswick Endurance and Performance horses breed, train, and compete Arabians in endurance, racing, dressage, show, and pleasure. The mare recently completed the Derghorn 160-km ride in November of 2014.

Traveling to Australia for this momentous event, Jenna is combining her travel bug with her love of endurance. She is most looking forward to the starting line. "At midnight, mounted upon a strange horse in a strange land, staring down a crowd of over 400 excited horses . . . that moment before it all begins is when my mind is most quiet and I realize 'Damn, I'm the luckiest person alive'.

"For me, it's always about the starting line. Finishing is a grand and amazing bonus - but sometimes we lose sight of the struggle it took to just show up."

'Quilty' returns to Hawkesbury for 50th
Theland.com.au - Full Article

29 Apr, 2015

THE world's biggest horse endurance ride has already attracted more than 450 nominations from around the world as riders prepare to mount up at midnight on June 5 to compete in the 50th Tom Quilty Gold Cup.

The 160-kilometre event is held annually over different courses around Australia, but returns to its origins in the Hawkesbury Valley north west of Sydney this year.

Riders and their horses from across Australia, the United Kingdom, United States, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa will start at Webbs Creek on the Hawkesbury River in a tribute to the popularity of the event and it first 26 starters in 1966...

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Australia: Cup returns to the Hawkesbury
Hawkesburygazette.com.au - Full Article

By Stephanie Bates April 13, 2015

More than 400 horses and their riders set to tackle 160km in 24 hours will gather at Wisemans Ferry in June, marking 50 years since the inaugural Tom Quilty Gold Cup.

Known as ‘The Quilty’, the endurance ride which attracts competitors from across the country and internationally, will be back on local soil after organisers campaigned for its return this year. It was supposed to be held in Victoria.

It’s considered a premier ride on the Australian endurance calendar and the national championships for the NSW Endurance Riders Association (NSWERA). Del Rio Resort will be the camp base (start and finish) for the ride which will wind through national park trails, rural roads and private properties.

Horse and rider are required to complete the set course in 24 hours from June 6-7. The ride starts at midnight.

One of the organisers, Ron Males said the ride came about 50 years ago when R.M. Williams and his mate Tom Quilty from Western Australia debated whether people could still ride long distances in one day. Quilty offered $1000 to make the gold cup for the first rider to do this...

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