Tumut to host NSW Endurance Championships

Erin Steinbacher and Caitlin Langley celebrate their efforts on locally trained horses in the 2019 Tumut Endurance (Photo: Animal Focus).

After hosting the inaugural NSW Endurance Riders Association State Championships in 1985, the Tumut Endurance Club will again host the time-honoured event in 2020.

The decision to have Tumut’s Bondo State Forest as the location of the state championships, which is set down for June 6-7 2020, is on the back of a very successful 2019 endurance event.

Tumut Endurance subsequently put in a tender for the 2020 state championships and was deemed the most suitable candidate, beating off two other NSW endurance-riding clubs.

Club representative Ellen Vine was understandably over the moon with the news but was also considering the enormity of the decision.

“It is exciting and nerve racking all at the same time,” she laughed.

Vine went onto explain just how huge the event would be, putting it in the same light as some of the biggest endurance events in Australia.

“It is a 160km event, run exactly the same way as the Tom Quilty,” she said.

The local endurance fanatic is working hard with her small Tumut club to put on an event that will attract riders from all over the state.

“We already have the wheels in motion and want to make the ride a successful event for the participants, the sport and the local community,” she said.

Vine also believes the popular ride could very well attract visitors to Tumut; an added bonus to holding the state championships.

“We look forward to hosting this event and bringing business to the local area,” she said.

The endurance rider, who this year competed in the Tom Quilty in Queensland, understands the gravity of hosting championship endurance events and wasn’t oblivious to what was needed going forward.

“The biggest challenge will be having the man power needed to put on such a big event,” she said.

“A 160km event is completed over 24 hours, so we need to find people that are happy to commit themselves to that.”

In saying all of this, Vine did appreciate the fact that they had already decided on a course and were grateful to the landowners and their generosity.

“We are very thankful to the Forestry Cooperation for them allowing us to use their land and forest,” she said.

NSW Endurance Riders Association vice president Noni Seagrim was backing Tumut to successfully host the event and believes it could one of the biggest endurance events on the 2020 calendar.

“We were submitted an application, which is like a tender process, and Tumut along with other two other clubs put in for the event and the NSW committee selected Tumut,” she said.

“It will be the major championship ride in NSW and one of the major rides on Australia’s east coast for 2020.”

Seagrim also highlighted that the running of the Tumut endurance will be essential for rider’s aiming to compete in the 2021 Tom Quilty.

“We believe it will be a tough ride but the Tumut endurance will give riders a chance to qualify for the 2021 Tom Quilty at Tooraweenah,” she said.

“To compete in the Tom Quilty, rider’s and their horses must have completed a 160km ride and Tumut will be one of next year’s only events in order achieve this.”

These 160km events don’t come easy though and Seagrim, Vine and the rest of the Tumut Endurance Club will be hoping to work with the local community and businesses in order to host the most successful event possible.

The event will also be supported by smaller rides, such as an 80km event, which will cater for up-and-coming endurance riders and hopefully attract more competitors to the event.