Let me have your news

If you have any news please send it to me to be published on this page.  If you need a horse to ride or if you have a horse that needs a rider for any of our endurance rides you could put that up here, or anything you would like other members to see.  You can send photos but if you email them please keep them below about 250kb.  Just contact Shirley on [email protected] or by phone on 08640024/0414436307 or mail to PO Box 600, Nuriootpa SA 5355. 

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Congratulations to Mark and Jess Shillabeer on the recent success of their lovely gelding Sandine Phoenix. Phoenix recently placed 2nd at two endurance rides held in Europe. His new owners are more than happy with their newest addition to their team and are currently spelling him after a whirlwind trip from Australia to the UAE and then on to Europe – all on the back of a relatively short and very successful career in endurance in South Australia with Mark and Jess.

Only a young horse, he is matching the performances of more seasoned older horses which is a credit to Mark as he has developed him slowly and thoroughly, understanding he had huge potential. (A special mention to Jess for her patience and expert farriery ensuring his legs and feet held together!!)

Sandine Phoenix is by the world renowned “Aloha Glacier Bay” a talented and superbly bred stallion who has the blood lines of many well performed horses worldwide across many disciplines. Mark and Jess are currently campaigning another son of Glacier Bay “Sandine Apollo”.

We all look forward to following the career of Phoenix who is being idolised by his new owner as he carefully nurtures him into his prime.

Photo Credit Melanie Cottell Askew

Story by Tracy Brandon

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1000 miles or 10 Tom Quiltys.  Many congratulations to Jil Bourton.  Read her story below of the 2013 Tom Quilty Ride that she and Jodie Luck both completed successfully.



Getting There:
Our tenth Quilty buckle campaign started with a three day road trip, this year's event being in
QLD, at Kilkivan which is beautiful hinterland country north west of Brisbane. I'm happy to report we had a dream run and Veloce Liberty ( now known as Bert) while not the best traveller, coped as well as could be expected. I had taken great pains to have her well topped up with condition and energy so what dropped off her petite frame was inconsequential. Pip did ALL the driving, what a legend, but he does love it .
It was very interesting to arrive at a Quilty base devoid of horses - bit spooky really but by Thursday arvo it was chockablock! We had accomodation on a farm out of town with a couple we'd never met before. Steve and Narelle's farm was picture book QLD with a renovated cottage  for us to stay in and the run of grassy cattle yards for Bert. Steve even slashed & measured out a 2km training track around one of his paddocks!
While I know most of you younger riders like to camp at base during Quilty week, I strongly advise finding a paddock or a property that will have your horse for a few days after a long trip, I'm convinced it's crucial for their recovery and hence ability to survive the task ahead.

The Ride:
Kilkivan was my 15th Quilty ride in 27 years and l would certainly rate it as one of the toughest (though that does not reflect in the winning time, it does however, in the low completion rate)
It was relentlessly hard underfoot, constantly undulating and rocky. Not my ideal track but the challenge was there for all and the key to success is to ride your horse to the best of its ability.
I was riding for my 1000 mile buckle so I had already decided to treat it as a long trail ride, nothing was going to prevent me from reaching my goal. I was also committed to helping Jodie gain her first buckle - one l'm sure she'll never forget!
The first 3 legs were long and covered a lot of the same ground and true to their profiles were relentlessly up and down . Especially the 40km third leg with the "Hill of Doom" in the middle! It took us well over one and a half hours to climb and descend this 800m peak, mostly on foot but boy the ponies were fresh and rearing to go once back in the saddle.
Then there was leg 4, only 22kms but pretty solid at that stage of the ride. The last 18 km leg was reported to be flat, but lacking adequate water points made any small rise seem Everest like to tired thirsty horses! Hence we paced ourselves, Jodie, Trish Reeves and I to finish at 9:03pm in =43rd place mwt with a total riding time of 18:03hrs. No landspeed record but we were by no means stone motherless!

The Horses:
The diminutive Veloce Liberty, a home bred with no size but plenty of heart, was lining up for her third Quilty in a row.
Jodie's  mare, Lindall Alabaska (Abbey), only just purchased and hadn't even left QLD
was to provide Jodie with a steep learning curve and total bonding over their first (and possibly) most gruelling event together.
As luck would have it our horses fell into good stride together and seemed to reach an understanding of tolerance for each other without becoming siamese twins which made strapping and vetting so much easier for each of us. Once we were through that time-in gate it was full on concerntration on our own horse's needs, allowing quick and smooth vet presentations.
Jodie hit the ground hard, facing a panel for gait at the first vet check and a represent for gut next leg - just to keep her alert - which, even though they are there to help your horse they sure impinge on your hold time!
This being Bert's 3rd Tom Quilty really showed in her presentations, her attitude unchanging and good consistent trot ups throughout. Both mares passed the compulsory represent smoothly (as usual many were caught out on this important Vet Check).
By that time quiet confidence was creeping in for me and Jodie was still wondering what they would throw at her next!
Even as they grew tired both horses mooched on willingly, sharing the lead and remaining relaxed and happy. The last loop with inadequate water slowed us somewhat but they still finished with an 'A' and FTC!!
I'm very proud of my pocket rocket and so glad l've stuck with her even though she's not the greatest ride. The pleasure of completing such a difficult and important ride on a home bred and trained horse is uplifting and for me the heart of this sport.
Jodie succeeded in an awsome feat on a virtually unknown quantity, not to mention the hurdles before and after the ride, which to me describes her grit and determination and thoughtful horsemanship.

All the photos below are Jil and Liberty and Jodie and Alabaska with the exception of the last two which show Tom Quilty Gold Cup winner Brrook Sample and Brookleigh Excalibur.
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If you have any old chaff bags or horse feed bags that you do not want and would be suitable for bagging horse poo, these would be gratefully accepted by Tracy Brandon.  You can contact her on 0407 565874 or you can take them to a ride and give them to Tracy there.  Yet another good way of recycling.

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