ON TRACK: Fiona Fenech on Owata Park Adria, left, and Emma Dimech on Eus Boomer during the 20km ride.
ON TRACK: Fiona Fenech on Owata Park Adria, left, and Emma Dimech on Eus Boomer during the 20km ride. Denise Keelan 2016

Endurance name of the game for horses, riders

NEARLY 200 horses and riders participated in the Richmond River Endurance Riders event at New Italy.

The entry list set a club record on a weekend when the weather was perfect for riding.

The 20km introductory ride attracted 40 entries and the 40km intermediate and 80km endurance rides had 126 horses entered.

They set off in the dark at 5.30am and the last rider finished about 3.30pm.

The winners were Tad Cossins riding Wollumbin Elle (heavyweight); Karen Anderson riding Mallee- grove Samsara (middle- weight); Janelle Taylor riding Calico Jarkamarn (lightweight); and Scarlet McQueen riding Elfar Krystella (juniors).

The ride is held each year at the New Italy Equestrian Centre. Riders follow marked tracks through the Double Duke state forest.

The motto of the sport is: to complete is to win, as it is not a race.

Each rider has to monitor their horse and bring it back to base camp safely, with a strict veterinary check to ensure all horses don't suffer any stress.