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Bush Capital Trainer, Kambah – 13 March 2010

On Saturday 13 March the ACT Endurance Riders Association held its second one-day training and social ride carnival at the Kambah Pony Club grounds in Canberra. Thank you to the pony club for letting us use the space.

There were 70 entries altogether, with 37 in the 40 km (33 completions), 18 in the 20 km (16 completions) and 15 in the 10 km (13 completions). The many smiling faces around camp indicated that all were having a good time. The weather helped a fine day with a light breeze and about 24 degrees. Perfect!

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The 40 km ride was challenging, but all riders enjoyed the views and the new tracks. There was a good mix of very experienced horses and riders, new comers, and experienced riders on new or young horses. Two 7-year-old school friends completed the trainer on their ponies, while at the other end of the age scale local former champion rider Searle Johnston also completed on his old stager Boris, accompanied by his partner Kristen. The course was well-marked, and covered a variety of surfaces and terrain: fire trails, bush trails and suburban nature strips, with some small hills on the social ride and a couple of steeper ones on the trainer.

The social rides went from Kambah through the suburbs of Chapman and Duffy, while the training ride crossed Cotter Road, entering the Mount Stromlo Forest Park out to Block 12 and back. The Mt Stromlo Forest Park stretch was partly shared with mountain bikers and buses pulling rattling trailers, but most of the horses accepted this with admirable equanimity. The Cotter Road crossing was also trouble-free, due largely to the efforts of the ride officials and cooperation of motorists who mostly slowed down when they saw the crossing and were very courteous.

There was a lot of water on the ground and in creeks and dams along the way. It was almost boggy in places, something that would have seemed impossible last year.

ACTERA would like to thank Chief Steward Belinda Hopley; Head Vet Steve Roberts and his assistants; Ride Secretary Fia Hasko-Stewart (who also marked the course with her family); office officials Cathy Banwell (who also marked the course) and Margaret Millard; checkpoint officials Paul Shiels, Bridi Rice, Hilary Gunn, Gertraud Norton, Lorien Hasko-Stewart and David Edmunds; our generous TPRs; the wonderful timekeepers from Wagga; Kevin Kelly who de-marked the course; and Jeremy, Jeremy, James and Ray, who helped in various ways including the cooking.

The encouragement award sponsored by Bendora Arabians went to Britt Johnson who was equal last home after slowing down because her legs (in jeans) were rubbed raw. Britt was very encouraged and is now looking forward to riding her first 80 km.

All 40 km completions received an ACTERA drink bottle in the colour of their choice, while the 20 km completions received a fridge magnet and certificate and 10 km completions received a certificate. The successful team in the teams competition took home some useful prizes, thanks to sponsor Belinda Hopley.

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