ACT Endurance Riders Association
ACT youth rider to represent Australia in South Africa
Talea Hasko-Stewart from the ACT is one of Australia's leading youth endurance riders. In 2009, she was ranked 3rd National in both points (for placings) and distance (1,662 km in successful competition).
In early July 2010, Talea will be flying to South Africa to represent Australia at the South African Endurance Championships in Fauresmith.
The event is a gruelling 205 km ride over three days, 6–8 July, in semi-desert country, with traveling vet checks.
Talea, the youngest member of the team, will meet the rest of the Australian team in Perth. Horses will be generously supplied by riders in South Africa.
Last year Australia won team gold at Fauresmith, beating the local team as well as New Zealand. This year's team is hoping to do it again!
Only a few days before leaving for South Africa, Talea will be driving the long road home to Canberra from Manilla, near Tamworth in New South Wales, after having competed in the de facto Australian championship, the Tom Quilty Gold Cup. This year's Quilty has attracted record entries with around 350 horses and riders expected to start the 160 km course at midnight on Friday 25 July.
Endurance is a very demanding sport. It is very popular around the world but is not yet an Olympic discipline so does not attract the same government funding as some other equestrian fields. The Australian Endurance Riders Association is also unable to subsidise overseas competition.
Talea will be travelling under guardianship while her mother, Fia Hasko-Stewart, stays at home to save money and to look after the Quilty horses.
Talea is looking for sponsorship for the trip and any contributions are welcome. She has boxes of charity chocolates available for sale, and is seeking sponsors for her Tom Quilty ride.