After 18 years, Canowindra will finally see another endurance horse riding event, as the new club Belubula Endurance Riders hosts the Canowindra Challenge; 10km, 20km, 40km and 80km rides will be held on Saturday and Sunday, departing from Cranbury Hall.
“We are excited to be bringing endurance back to Canowindra,” said Louise Pidding-ton, president of the Belubula Endurance Riders and event director. “The last event held here was the 2003 Tom Quilty Gold Cup.”
As a long-term endurance rider and Arabi-an horse breeder and trainer, Louise brings a wealth of experience to the event which she is coordinating with partner Chris Kinslela.
“On Saturday, we have the 10km and 20km ride. On Sunday, we have the 40km and 80km rides. The 80km event is a competition, while the others are social and training events. We have some great equestrian prizes on offer for the race. All the prizes are custom made and engraved. We will give out prizes to the top four riders in each division and the best conditioned.”
“The tracks will follow quiet country laneways with good verges, stock-routes and farmland, with beautiful views over the district. Some of the course will follow part of the 2003 Tom Quilty track.”
“The dirt roads are well maintained with some soft ground and some hard ground. There are some hills, but nothing strenuous, just nicely undulating and some long flat stretches. The track is suitable for novice horses, but is not all flat.”
Louise is happy about the expected turn-out: “Riders are coming from across the Central West and further afield. We are happy to see that a lot of Canowindra locals have entered too. We have just under 200 entries.”
Given it is a new event, Louise is keen to let locals know that measures have been taken to keep both horses and riders safe. “We have four vets coming. Everyone has to pass veterinary inspections before, during and after the 80km race. It is all very well managed, the utmost care will be taken and we are also following all COVID guidelines. We will have a QR code and a COVID marshal, which I hope will ease people’s minds.”
As the weekend approaches, Louise is keen to thank the many people who have helped get the event up and running.
“We want to thank Matt and Tamara Pearce for allowing us to use their property as our ride base, David Harrison who provided the Cranbury Hall and landowners Peter and Roz King and Adam Nash for allowing ride access through their properties for the event. Thank you for all the local support we have received from businesses. Without you, we would be unable to run this event.”
More information can be found online at www.belubulaenduranceriders.com.