Tumut riders prepare for NSW Champs

The Oso Arabians team will be in action at the Tumut Endurance on Sunday.

In what could have been a disaster for Southern NSW endurance riders, Cowra’s Bumbaldry ride  that was scheduled for this weekend was postponed at the last minute.

Fortunately for local competitors who are eyeing the NSW State Championships at Tumut on June 6-8, Tumut Endurance will be holding a smaller event to help rider’s have their horses in good order.

Tumut Endurance spokesperson Ellen Vine explained the decision to host an event with such short notice.

“Two weeks ago a ride near Cowra called Bumbaldry unfortunately had to postpone their event due to multiple circumstances and this meant that the first 80km event for the year in NSW wouldn’t be until March 14, but it was up past Coffs Harbour,” Vine said.

“So for Southern NSW, that would be impossible to attend, meaning we would have to wait until the next one, which wouldn’t be until March 28 near Sydney.

“So looking ahead, it was clear that this would negatively impact a lot of people and inevitably Tumut Endurance’s State Championships, so with two and a half weeks notice, we decided to replace the postponed ride on March 7 and 8 and run the Tumut Endurance Ride.”

Vine wanted to remind competitors and supporters that this weekend’s event would probably pale in comparison to previous Tumut Endurance events and that it was more about giving competitors a chance to compete and get their horses fit.

“Due to obvious time restraints, it is a no frills event, which means there is no prizes for placing in the 80km event other than a prize for winning best conditioned horse, which is sponsored by Canobolas Endurance Riders,” Vine said.

The Tumut event will have a 40km and 80km ride on the Sunday, with the course going throughout the picturesque Bondo State Forrest, the same course intended for the NSW State Championships.

Vine, who works with the small committee that included  Kim Stephens, Noni Seagrim and Bridget Maher, believes this event  comes on the back of their hard work and commitment.

“I think it is a testimony not only to the club but those around us who rally together to get the job done,” Vine said.

“We have a lot of people that come and assist us to get it off the ground and a special mention probably needs to go to Jen and Allen Caslick.

“They are currently camped at Bondo and are helping Noni (Seagrim) to clear and mark the tracks for this weekend and preparing tracks for our State Championships as well.”

Tumut Endurance will even debut a new section of the course in anticipation for their 160km feature event in June.

“We are testing out a new leg, which is a loop that we haven’t used yet (and) we are hoping that people really enjoy this weekend and consider stepping up for the 160km event in June,” Vine said.

Vine, who doesn’t typically compete at Tumut events due to her own interests with the club, will be making a rare appearance as she prepares her mare Alzarah for the State Championships.

“I will be competing. I have my eyes focused on attending the state champs, so the Tumut Endurance committee has kindly let me ride Alzarah,” Vine said.

The Tumut Endurance office will open at 12pm on the Saturday with pre-ride vetting between 2pm-5pm and a pre-ride talk at 5.30pm.

On the Sunday, the 80km ride will commence at 5am and the 40km ride commences at 7am, while the course will closed at 3pm and presentations to be held at 3.30pm.