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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Snake Valley event attracts big field of endurance riders


ABOVE: Nicole Porter, Shandelle Watson, Kerryn Agnew and Wendy Riha. Picture: FELICITY CLAY

VICTORIAN Renee Henry and Kollage MI have taken out the Snake Valley Dash Endurance ride’s perpetual line honours trophy.


The lightweight division competitor finished in a time of five hours, 26 minutes and six seconds, just ahead of middleweight rider Will Pridam and Brookleigh Kiev 25 seconds behind.


This is the third year the event has been held, run on a private property at Snake Valley in February.


There were 80 horse and rider combinations competing across four distance levels - 20km, 40km and 80km distances as well as a 5km course to accommodate younger riders and newcomers to the sport.


ABOVE: Renee Henry and Kollage MI on the way to taking line honours. Picture: FELICITY CLAY

Riders from all over Victoria as well interstate riders attended.


“Many locals help the event come together, volunteering their time on checkpoints, organising water and course marking,” said Renee, who also helped organise the event.


“The 80km riders set out at 3am to beat the heat, having to complete two loops of the 40km course with veterinary checks pre-ride and after each loop, passing three checkpoints.


“We had 35 entries in the 80km event, which is divided into junior, lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight categories.


“Unfortunately, there were no entries in the junior division this year.”


Endurance riding is a test of both horse and rider, with the horses’ health and welfare being of the utmost importance.


“Riders spend many hours in the saddle training and it’s all about knowing your horse,” Renee said.


“To be able to enter an 80km ride, horses and riders must first complete two intermediate 40km rides successfully. To go and become a qualified endurance horse or rider three 80km rides must be completed at a novice pace.”


GALLERY

(Click any image to expand)



All images FELICITY CLAY


Results


Lightweight

First:  Renee Henry and Kollage MI (5hr 26min 6s)

Second: Belinda Kreun and Zahinda Soniador (5hr 32min 2s)

Third: Shannon Decker and Cooroora Bold Dancer (5hr 47min 7s)              

Middleweight

First: Will Pridam and Brookleigh Kiev (5hr 26min 31s)

Second: Sallyann Duke and Aloha Thee Desperado (5hr 31min 58s)

Third: Trish VanDonk and Eaglehawk Roak   (6hr 30min 24s)

Heavyweight

Equal first: Tabitha Schmetzer and Eaglehawk Hercules, Jake Verspaandonk and Pureheart Fraggle Rock (6hr 30min 5s)

Third: Peter Farrrell and Nabil Atah (6hr 55min 32s)         

Best conditioned - calculated on riding time, total weight carried and overall gait and appearance when finished.

Lightweight – Belinda Kruen riding Zahinda Soniador

Middleweight – Sallyanne Duke riding Aloha Thee Desperado

Heavyweight – Tabitha Schmetzer riding Eaglehawk Hercules


For anyone interested in giving endurance riding a go, lots of helpful information can be found at the Victorian Endurance Riders Association website.




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