By Annette Bailey
When people say they have been to the "back of Bourke", well those that attended the Matar Stables Darling River Run can genuinely say they have done just that when they travelled to attend the event at Louth!
It was a unique event for everyone, including the ride organisers! The combination of the AERA and FEI was seamless, helped undeniably by the officials and volunteers that contributed to making it a very relaxing and low key event, all things considered.
Our Head Vets, Rhys Powell (AERA) and Narelle Cribb (FEI) were ably assisted by Georgia Ladmore, Brenna Barber (NZ), and Matthew Walker. The FEI officials were an amazing group of people, consisting of Yaguchi Kiyota who came all the way from Japan to the red dust of Louth, Heidi Bulfin, Robyn Parnell, Marylou Locke and Naomi O'Shaunghnessy. Chief Steward for the AERA ride was Louise Counsell who made all things AERA work seamlessly.
The Louth Racecourse was the perfect back drop as the horses did the last kilometer of their rides around the race track to finish at the winner's post. Riders and horses showed great endurance with a couple of exciting gallops with a winners being determined by a photo finish. The results are all up on AERASpace for all 10 rides! That could well be a record number of rides held at one event?
Our volunteers of Gordon and Kate Smith and their family, Tony Marshall, Angelina Patterson, Tiana Baldock, Takira Baldock, Tom Pankhurst, Ash and Ashley Cole (NZ), Nadine Barker (NZ), David Somerville and Karen Johnansen; with special mention in dispatches of the Canobolas Endurance Riders and the Bullio Endurance teams. The Easter Bunny even got a "gurnsey".
The Louth community might be small but their welcome was big and we were provided with some sensational meals courtesy of the Louth Chamber of Commerce catering, country fare at its finest. Shindy's Inn (aka The Pub) did a roaring trade, as everyone used the Pub as the gathering place for the weekend (funny about that!).
Congratulations to all that came to this event. You are all officially part of the "Darling River Run Family".
Special mention to our sponsors, Radincon, Zilco, FeedXL, Equistash and D-Lua
Saddlecloths. Please visit our facebook page to acknowledge these sensational supporters of endurance riding in NSW.