Updated on 17th January 2002 at 19:30Hrs. All images, material etc. on this site is ©opyright to Indy Rosser and The Pub With No Beer Ride.
"Well there's nothing so lonesome as a Pub With No Beer!" So rang out the strains of Slim Dusty's song at Booroorban last weekend the 12th of January 2002. The only thing was that the Royal Mail Hotel at Booroorban had just been granted their licence, so the beer was thankfully flowing. Endurance riders came from near and far to gather in the grounds of this oasis to sample the local hospitality and to participate in the annual Pub With No Beer Endurance ride.
There was a fairly large contingent of Queenslanders, riders from the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and all parts of New South Wales. Meg Wade, one of our most prominent international Endurance riders was there as well as quite a number of the "guns" of the sport. In all, 51 riders rolled into camp, complete with their entourage, swelling the number of temporary inhabitants in the tiny little hamlet until it seemed to be bursting at the seams.
Riders participated in all divisions except harness. The divisions are heavyweight, middleweight, lightweight, and junior as well as a 40 Kilometre "training" ride.
The ride was a 120 Kilometre event, elevated at 80 Kilometres (meaning that riders could withdraw after 80 Kilometres and still accrue points).
Running an Endurance ride costs money and a number of local businesses assisted by sponsoring awards and trophies. The fittest horse (F/H Award) in the heavyweight division was sponsored by Murray's Waste Removal, the middleweight F/H by the Riverina Hotel whilst Star Bros. at Carrathool furnished the lightweight F/H.
The Best Managed Award in the 120 Km was made possible by Indy's PA Services and thanks to the generosity of Lionel Garner (Willshear) there was an award for the first mare across the line. The last 40 Km training rider across was line won a trophy thanks to Griffith Feed and Grain. An encouragement award was given to a 40 Km rider, sponsored by Wendy Landers from Victoria.
The Booroorban Hotel sponsored the "youngest rider" award.
The results are as follows: -
Ray Fulton a middleweight (M/W), riding Rowallan Miss Lily won the ride as well as the award for the first mare across the line. Meg Wade of Castlebar Endurance Arabians and Jason Kirk from Tall Timbers at Berrima achieved equal second in the MW division. Meg also won the Overall Fittest Horse Award.
Local rider, Laurie Stevens of Hay, won first Heavyweight (H/W) and fittest horse in the H/W division and the Best Managed for the 80 Km event went to Brook Sample of Queensland. Gail Finlayson of Warrimoo (recently threatened by bushfires) won the Best Managed in the 120Km section.
Training riders had two awards and both these were won by members of the same family! Jess Hurst was the last training rider home and her sister Steffi won the encouragement award. The girls come from near Avoca in Victoria although their parents have just purchased "Thalaka" in the Booroorban district so the trophies will remain locally.
The junior rider, Laura Brown, who came in second place, completing the 120Km ride, came into the camp to a rousing reception at 4.00 AM. This was her first 120Km ride. She rode the last 40 Kms of the last leg by herself as she decided to go out on track at 12.45AM. This was a very courageous decision as she had only started riding horses 6 months ago. This is proof for us all that persistence pays off.
Full results links.
The track was such that the winning rider was able to achieve an average speed of almost 21 Km/h over the full 120 Km course! This was due to the fact that temperatures and general weather conditions were almost ideal (although the wind was gusty at times). From all reports the riders all thought the course was excellent.
By all accounts, all the "temporary" residents of Booroorban had a fantastic time and thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality. Some of the "gun riders" even suggested to all who attended the presentation on Sunday morning that they should spread the word throughout the Australian Endurance world that this was one of the best "bush" rides around.
Riders don't just ride horses, they spend money on food, horse feed and even partake of the odd beer (or many) so their weekend would have brought a welcome boost to the local economy.
Many of the locals provided support for the ride in so many ways, from manning checkpoints and sponsorship to staffing the canteen and bar at the hotel.
An off beat and interesting sideline to the Horse Endurance ride took place as well. Three push bike riders elected to follow the riders around the whole track. They commenced 30 minutes after the main ride and submitted themselves to exactly the same rules as the horses and riders. Push bikes had to be "vetted", as were the bike riders and there was much hilarity at the "attempts" of the veterinary to take pulse rates, respiration and temperatures. You see these were administered in exactly the same manner as the equines! Dean Thomas, one of the push bike riders even completed the full 120Km course, finishing ahead of a couple of the horse riders! The other two bike riders were James Dolbel and Mark Skien from Cowra.
All in all, it was a tremendously successful weekend for all concerned.
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