2012 Tom Quilty Gold Cup National Championships
|Tom Quilty Gold Cup National Championships St Helens Tasmania 2012 - 21st Jun 2012|
Brookleigh Excalibur having a celebratory drink as the winner of the 2012 Tom Quilty Gold Cup
During the Queen's Birthday weekend, competitors, family and friends together with a host of volunteers and officials gathered at St Helens in Tasmania to enjoy the diverse, picturesque landscapes and amazing fine weather for this year's Tom Quilty Gold Cup. The recreation grounds provided a perfect base camp and great facilities for the Quilty family and its followers.
This was Brook Sample's second Tom Quilty Cup win on Brookleigh Excalibur and even more remarkable, his sixth Tom Quilty Gold Cup of a long and successful endurance horse riding career. Having left his travelling arrangements to the last minute, Brook was quick to thank Gayle Homes for transporting his mount to the event and Gayle was rewarded with her tenth Quilty buckle riding Desert Duellers Con, another well performed horse that finished fifth in the South Australian Tom Quilty Gold Cup ride last year. Matthew Sample riding with Akhmed Pshunov tied in third place behind Bradley Hill riding Lockleigh Park Sparks Afire.
This year the iconic Gold Cup event had a truly international flavour with competitors from the USA, UAE, Italy and Japan taking part. Italian rider Jacopo Di Matteo crossed the line in the second fastest time and took 1st place in the lightweight division in a time of 9 hours 29. Di Matteo was mounted on the Tasmanian bred horse Lockleigh Park Wildfire Park Wildfire, sired by Ralvon Splendour who this year was attempting to gain a 2nd Quilty buckle carrying owner Noel Lockhart.
Elizabeth Laurie had travelled from the USA to ride Kholoinal Farrington, owned and trained by Harry O'Brien of Western Australia. This combination gained 4th in the heavyweight division that was won by Denis Foley jr. on Jack.
Aged just 13, young Alice Mitchell achieved her 5th consecutive win over the 160km distance and took out the junior division in a riding time of 8 hours 39 minutes, riding Beer Street Takone bred by Tony Purton.
"To successfully complete a 160km ride on horseback in 24 hours is an achievement itself but to achieve it on a Tom Quilty course is deemed by most as the ultimate," says Tom McCormack President of the Australian Endurance Riders Association and Chief Steward of the event this year.
And so it was for Antonia Gilbertson who was beaming at presentation and made a speech that warmed our hearts and told of the magic of this equestrian discipline. At her first attempt, to receive her buckle and 4th lightweight with the green and gold rug was way above her expectations.
Windaroo Devina Glamour ridden by Jenifer Gilbertson was a huge surprise, as she stands not much more than 14 hands high and had been purchased for the grandchildren as a champion, experienced pony club mount. Being a bit cunning for the young children, the Gilbertsons swapped her over for safety reasons. It was unknown if she could do 160kms until this year when Antonia and Jennifer successfully took part in the NSW State Championship event with the aim of gaining Antonia's Quilty qualification. For Jennifer to finish in the top ten and be 9th middleweight at the Tom Quilty seems to defy all reason; Jennifer now look at her little mare in a new light.
Dr Pat Hodgetts, Event Director and President of the Tom Quilty 2012 Committee together with a small team worked tirelessly to produce a well managed event with safety and fun for all being important ingredients. Pat, who was vetting at her 20th Tom Quilty event will later this year make her way to the USA to vet at the Tevis Cup, another unique and prestigious endurance event.
|Photographs Supplied By|
Matt Bennet Photography
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