A STEADY procession of horse floats, trucks and goosenecks came through Gloucester on Saturday, August 9 on their way to Cobark for the inaugural Cobark Endurance Ride.
Dozens of riders were based at Dianne and Allen Shultz’s Camp Cobark with many arriving as early as the Thursday before.
The weather was perfect with a sunny warm day on the Saturday and cooler conditions on Sunday.
Over the two days, the ride distances of 5km, 10km, 20km, 40km and 80 km attracted 166 ride entries.
Many entered the 10km ride on the Saturday and then rode in a longer distance on the Sunday.
The course was challenging but enjoyable, with many riders commenting on how picturesque the river crossings over the Cobark, Barrington, Kerrapit and Bowman rivers were.
Copeland’s Lorna Taylor was participating in her first endurance ride.
“Sheila Perrottet from Wang Wauk and I would like to thank the organisers Carol Layton and Rob Howden for a great weekend at Camp Cobark,” she said.
“Signs were displayed in places, so we wouldn't get lost and we enjoyed the lollies from the people manning the gates.
“The vets were very friendly and our horses passed the vet check after the 10km ride on Saturday, which meant we could receive our certificates.
“We’re very much looking forward to a future endurance ride.”
A large number of people volunteered to help, enabling the whole weekend to be a huge success.
The volunteers wore a ‘cherished volunteer’ tags taking turns on gates, helping with timekeeping and assisting the vets in the vetting area.
On Sunday, the vets awarded ‘fittest horse’ awards in all the weight divisions for the 80km ride to recognise those who managed their horses well at the elite level.
All those who successfully passed the vet checks received a beautiful Cobark Endurance Ride buckle.
The fastest time in the 80km ride was just under six hours.
All those successful in the shorter ride distances received a special Cobark key ring, certificate or sash.
“We’d like to thank the landowners who allowed access on their scenic properties, in particular Narelle and David Bignell, Lyn and Bill Laurie, Nicholas and Sheree Laurie, Marcus Laurie, Greg Whittle, Trevor and Mary Laurie and the NSW Forestry Corp,” organiser Carol Layton said.
“We would also like to thank local volunteers Judy Ingram and Colleen Sorrenson from Gloucester High School, the Nash family (Stroud) and Mark McLure and his sons, Hamish and Isaac.”
Entertainment was provided by Colin, a regular at Camp Cobark, who played guitar and sang with a friend on Saturday night while everyone enjoyed the spit roast feast prepared by Dianne Shultz.
The event raised more than $1000 for Gloucester High School with donations from local businesses including the Barrington Outdoor Adventure Centre, Double C Saddlery (Wingham), Norco Rural, Camp Cobark and Balanced Equine.