Riders take on Kundabung endurance event

LOCAL riders from the Hastings Trail Riding Club took the opportunity to ride in Kundabung's annual Endurance Ride even though the odds were against them with the extremely bogey wet course.

Gary and Ashley Thomas finished 80km with Gary coming in third spot in the Heavyweight division while his daughter Ashley came in fourth in the Middleweight section. 

HTRC members who entered the 40km ride were Maz Tattam, Jackie Tattam, Margaret Bentley, Helen & Ari Riek, Joan Barnes, Denise Wagner & Robyn Coombes. 

Stephanie Hunter & Sarah & Danika Glover participated in the social 20km ride.

Well known local Robyn Coombes is no stranger to Endurance riding and riding in general. 

Robyn has ridden all her life and after 10 or so years of traveling her children around the state with pony club & local shows Robyn in her mid 40's decided to enter her first Endurance ride in 1983. 

Robyn recalls her first ride was 80km at Glen Innes & after successfully completing the ride she was hooked.

"I loved the riding, loved the friendly atmosphere, the camp fires, the level playing field, and the sense of achievement," she said. 

Her next challenge was to train & complete 80km rides all over Australia.

"Having ridden 80km you had achieved something, regardless of your place in the field," she said.

"To complete is to win."

Over the years Robyn has ridden thousands of kilometers in competition and many more thousands in training. 

Robyn's collection of trophies & prize winning belt buckles tucked away in her cupboards are just a small reminder of Robyn's achievements she has made with her trusty horses.

By mid 1994 when the first computer record was sent out Robyn had already clocked up a whopping 4300 kms.

Some of Robyn's highlights in riding would include competing in five "hundred mile" competitions, two Tom Quilties and three State Championships.

Robyn has also completed three longer rides over two days, both the Scone 200 km ride and the Longreach to Winton "Waltzing Matilda Ride" which was 250 kms.

This ride was broken up over just two days, traveling 165 kms on the first day and then the remaining 85 kms on day two.

Robyn has loved every single minute of all those rides & her only regret is she has not yet attempted the "Shahzada", a five day marathon at St Albans where you travel over 400kms.

To witness Robyn's achievements is astounding and at the young age of just 72 years Robyn still rides her horses almost every day and enters Endurance rides within the State.

Ashley and Gary Thomas.

Ashley and Gary Thomas.