Stirling Classic sets the scene for Quilty in coming weeks
WITH the world-famous Tom Quilty Ride only weeks away, the Stirling Endurance Classic in Queensland attracted 178 riders across 10 sections.
Stirling’s Crossing Equestrian Complex opened its gates in early 2016 as Australia’s only privately owned, purpose-built endurance facility.
The complex has diverse topography suited for endurance rides as well as flat ground in the beautiful environment of Imbil.
The Warwick Trail and Endurance Riders Association took on the job of running the Stirling Classic at the venue.
One of the most notable performances in the 160km section was the equal first placing in the junior ride.
Marlee Carpenter on Teddy and Indi Else on De-Sharvall El Dakar rode an identical time 18 hours, 37 minutes, and recorded almost identical heart rate averages and an average speed of 8.59km/h.
Nine of the 19 starters in the 160km section completed the distance successfully.
The heavyweight winner was Grant Jocumson’s Kalkadoon Sierra, completing the distance in 16 hours and 57 minutes, and Debra Mc Queen’s Elfar Kaspa took the middleweight in 17 hours, 17 minutes.
Ash Christofis’ Lighning McQueen won the lightweight in an impressive 15 hours, 49 minutes at an average speed of 10.11km/h, nudging out Aleisha Natale and Burralga Angelikh, just 10 minutes behind in second place.
There were three 120km rides, with the main section attracting 35 entrants with 22 completions. Allyson Taylor and Norfolk Park Apocalypse won the heavyweight division and Matthew Sample and Stirling's Thor the middleweight. Just two seconds behind him was the lightweight winner, Tracy-Lee Cossor and Brookleigh Danu. The junior winner was Noah Hoogland and Aloha Blue Opal.
The FEI Two Star 120km winners were Virginia Barber riding Sherloch in the open and Georgie Barber riding Rodborough Samira in the youth section.
Winner of the open FEI One Star (100km) Kaylea Maher riding Shardell Renegade, completed the course in seven hours, 17 minutes. The junior winner was Indra Hofstee riding PVE Remington (six hours, 53 minutes and 11 seconds).
In the AERA 100km, Kirsty Nicholson riding Hill Stone Azmah took out the heavyweight section in eight hours, 39 minutes, the middleweight section went to Steve Gray and Shardell Indian Storm (17:17:25), clocking an 13.72km/h an hour speed. The lightweight winner was Pamela Karner and Flemingo Saphire (7:24:49) and Bella Brassington riding Kaj Emeline took out the junior award in 10 hours.
Special mention goes to Garry and Charlie Farry, who successfully completed their first introductory ride of 20km in just over three hours.
The Stirling’s Crossing Equestrian Complex will host the 57th Tom Quilty Gold Cup National Championship on June 23-25.
(Click any image to expand)
Allyson Taylor riding Norfolk Park Apocalypse first in the AERA 120km heavyweight
Georgie Barber riding Rodborough Samira first in the youth two-star (120km)
Noah Hoogland riding Aloha Blue Opal first in the junior AERA 120km
Virginia Barber riding Sherloch first in the FEI two-star (120km)
Kirsty Nicholson riding Hill Stone Azmah first in heavyweight 100km
Pamela Karner riding Flemingo Saphire first lightweight 100km
Indra Hofstee riding PVE Remington won the one-star youth 100km
Winner of the FEI One Star (100km) Kaylea Maher riding Shardell Renegade
Steve Gray riding Shardell Indian Storm first middleweight 100km
All images SARAH SULLIVAN
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