Jade Bradley and Supre Cardrona enjoy the beach ride

An absolute cracker of a day ensured a great turnout for Ruahine Endurance Club’s first event of the season at Scotts Ferry. We had a lot of newcomers attend and the large truck full of horses from Nga Tawa School certainly boosted our numbers. The weather gods were smiling on ESNZ Endurance this weekend with Waikato also hosting a beach ride on the same date and photos of both events made it look like it was January and not August.

There were 15 entries in the 40 km ride (senior and junior, intermediate, novice and intro) with Sandy Marshall on Jamila Two being the first combination home despite a course adjustment after they rode back to base to alert us of excitement on the beach. Several of the 40 km riders chose not to complete the entire course as many people got involved with assisting a horse and rider who were chased by a seal. The horse took evasive action, dropped its rider and then headed into the surf to escape. Once he got beyond the surf and the seal was between him and the beach, he decided that swimming was preferable to returning to the dangers of the beach. The whole situation was very worrying for all involved but horse and rider were eventually reunited and brought back to ride base for a full check-up. Most of the 40 km riders took more than 4 hours and it was getting quite cool by the time they came in due to the late starting times to accommodate the tides.

Eight competitors took on the 25 km distance with 22 entries in the 10 km class. Many in the 10 km class were enjoying themselves so much that they missed the turnaround marker at 5 km and completed a much longer distance than originally intended. They certainly got value for money!

Lots of assistance was offered to those giving endurance a go for the first time to help them with strapping for the vet check, ensuring that heart rates were down and that horses didn’t get too hot or too cold. A very experienced ground crew meant that the whole event ran smoothly. Thanks to everyone who mucked in and helped with putting the ride together. There will be a repeat event on Saturday 8th September with the same classes and distances offered but start times from 11 am (pre-ride vetting from 10 am).