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30th anniversary ride 2012

Thirty years of Brookvale buckles

Since the first National Capital Ride in 1982, over 20 riders have won five or more buckles, and three of them have more than 10. Read the story by Melanie O'Flynn and see lots of photos.

Part 1: Thirty years of Brookvale buckles | Part 2: Riders who have won 10 or more buckles | Photo gallery     (25 July 2012)

Some local horses and riders from the 1970s and 1980s – part 1

By the time the first National Capital Endurance Ride was held on 14 November 1982, endurance riding had already been established in the district for more than 10 years. There were several keen endurance riders and others living in Canberra and the surrounding district wanting to try the sport and a decision was made to start a local ride and establish the ACT Endurance Riders Association to run it.

Stories and photos of local horses and riders pre-1982     (16 August 2012)

The First National Capital Ride, 14 November 1982, relived

The National Capital Endurance Ride began in 1982, funded by an overdraft and held between two periods of heatwave temperatures and total fire bans, towards the end of one of the worst droughts on record. The ride course evolved over the years and the exact course for the 1982 ride has now been forgotten but what people do remember is that it was long, rough, hard, steep and dry.

Less than half the 39 horses that entered the ride completed it successfully but under the circumstances, it is surprising that only three were vetted out for lameness and six for pulse. Three horses 'tied up' and several others were withdrawn by their riders for various reasons, some simply because they had run out of time.

Details of the 1982 ride are contained in the mastersheets (PDF 315 kb), transcribed from copies of the handwritten originals which were provided by Judith Perkins.

The winner, Allan Robertson, provided a picture of himself with his horse Prancer.

Alison Hudson (Guy) kindly allowed us to copy several photographs taken at the ride base on Brookvale during the ride weekend, including the office caravan and canteen tent and the campsite beside the creek.

To help bring the event to life, Melanie O'Flynn has written a ride 'review' with the assistance of several of the organisers and participants.

(18 September 2012)

The National Capital Ride 1982–2012...How things have changed in 30 years!

If you enter the Brookvale ride now, you can expect to start when it is already light enough to see without a torch; you will have only 80 km, in two legs, to complete and can expect to finish the ride in under nine hours, quite possibly in under five hours; and (depending on circumstances on the day) you probably have more than 70% chance of completing the ride successfully and receiving your buckle.

In the early 1980s, you could have started as early as 3.00 am, certainly no later than 4.00 am and unless there was a good moon, you would have needed your torch for much of the first leg. You would have been riding for more than eight hours and quite possibly more than 12; when you finished the second leg you would have already done over 80 km with another leg to go; and with the high vet out and withdrawal rates in the 110 km ride, there was less than a 50/50 chance you would be taking home a buckle at the end of the day.

If you did succeed you would have the satisfaction of knowing you and your horse had completed a very challenging ride, though not as challenging as some of the other rides in the district at the time. If you didn't, you would have been in good company – several of the top horses and riders of the time were vetted out of this ride at least once.

As 2012 is the 30th anniversary of the start of the National Capital Brookvale ride, it is interesting to look back at the changes in the ride, and the sport generally, over that period.

Acknowledgements | Ride base | The course | The ride date | Riding times, entries and completion rates | The vets | The horses | Equipment | The buckle | Riding rules | Training and social rides | Costs and charges | Technology and communication | Some things have not changed | Photo gallery of past 30 years

(1 October 2012)

Some local horses and riders from the 1970s and 1980s – part 2

Part 1 of this story was about people who took up endurance riding well before the first Brookvale ride in 1982. Part 2 is about some of those who started endurance riding from the early to mid-1980s. The original intention was to highlight one particular horse and rider combination, but that approach did not always work, especially where several members of a family competed and had several horses.

Local horse & rider stories – part 2

Other horses and riders

These are just a few of the local horses and riders of the 1980s. Others included Belinda Hopley's Zaridan and ‘Como the Magnificent’; Colleen Clancy's Max Max and Wiz the Fizz; Alison Kalsbeek's Scarasen (Yaldon Fabian), sire of Colleen Clancy's later endurance horse Valilly Monaghetti (‘Blue’); Virginia Dodson's Arabian pony Amen (‘Armpit’); Nick Hassanoff's Koonuck; Simon Bain's Coonawarra; and last but not least, Matt Schunke's Oscar, who inspired the dummy-spitting horse on ACTERA's ‘Tough Trot’ t-shirts and sloppy joes.

(15 October 2012)