Wandering Endurance

Photos and Words by Chris Ros


Last year for its inception the weather was fairly hot. What a difference this year (held on 21st May). The forecast was not looking good but that and some negative comments on social media put some riders off. Over 20 riders decided to withdraw before even leaving home.

Vetting was held in beautiful sunny weather on the Friday afternoon.

Ride base was the caravan park in Wandering and soon floats and camps covered most of the grassed area. A communal camp fire was lit close to the Geoff Marsh pavilion and some of the riders and strappers were still sitting around it well after midnight. Come daylight the fire was still cheerfully encouraging people to come and visit it, even if it was surrounded by water by then.

Top Photo: Ross McCamish & Hillbrae Kassie. Above: Keeping the home fires burning.

Start time for the 80 km section was 7.45 am so that horses could see the little creek in daylight this year. This little creek is less than 100 yards from the start line and last year caused some trouble to most horses. Even later on in the daylight the horses were not just walking across it but giving mighty leaps. This year things were very tame and no big leaps occurred. Mind you a couple of riders did have trouble. One had to lead her horse through the water which by this time was knee deep. Another rider trying to head out on her second had her mare absolutely refuse to even think about crossing it for at least 10 minutes until she finally gave in.


Above: Anita Fortsch & Najya

Right: Lara Verdouw & Awarran Park Shining Aura



Not long after the start the rain really set in and continued all day but luckily we had no thunderstorms. Most riders came back much heavier than when they left with one weighing in at a staggering 8 kilograms heavier than when she started.
No heavyweight or junior riders started in the main ride but the nine riders who did start completed successfully giving a completion rate of 100%. With only a total of 10 starters wither vetting out or withdrawing from the three shorter rides it was a very successful ride.
Two legs around the picturesque, undulating forestry country in this area made up the ride with one part along a long section of gravel road. It is to be hoped that the organisers can be talked into holding this ride again next year.


1st      Lara Verdouw                  Awarran Park Shining Aura       7 hrs 8 mins
=2nd   Nicky Gusterson              Yaldon Rival                             7 hrs 37 mins
=2nd   Ady McIntosh                  Deep Forest Hy Light                 7hrs 37 mins
4th      Rita Perry                       Sunrise Banjo                           8 hrs 26 mins
=1st    Melissa Atwell                 Noran Astro                              7 hrs 8 mins
=1st    Linda Dix                        Gungurri Xena                          7 hrs 8 mins
=3rd    Liz Mulcahy                    Bluegrass Angelina                             7 hrs 38 mins
=3rd    Kerry Willing                            Roswa Park Star de’Morn          7 hrs 38 mins
5th      Lyn Summerfield             Eleazar Serendipity                            8 hrs 26 mins
BEST CONDITIONED              
MIDDLEWEIGHT                       Awarran Park Shining Aura      
LIGHTWEIGHT                          Gungurri Xena