Oberon-born Andrew Bailey and Courtney Anderson (nee Freeman) of “Native Dog”, Oberon shared line honours at the 2018 Tooraweenah NSW Championship 160-kilometre endurance ride last weekend.
It was déjà vu for Mr Bailey as he cantered across the line riding Twynham El Zephyr. In 1991, he won the National Championship 160km Tom Quilty Gold Cup Endurance Ride on the same course, riding Tantawanglo Hamal Zahab.
Tooraweenah, in the foothills of the Warrumbungles, is experiencing the same dry times affecting all the state, but that didn’t stop a wonderful committee providing a great course and event, according to Mr Bailey.
“Their hospitality and easy-going country charm made everyone feel welcome,” he said.
Mr Bailey and Ms Anderson have been participating in endurance riding for many years. Both their families form the nucleus of strong Arabian breeding programs that have culminated in the Bullio Arabians Stud located in Woodstock and Orange, and the Cedar Ridge Stud located at “Native Dog”, Oberon.
Many horses bred in both stables have been exported overseas and reside in some of the most prestigious endurance stables in the world.
It is a testament to both the strength and longevity of the Arabian horse and to the Baileys’ love of their horses that Tantawanglo Hamal Zahab is alive and very well in his paddock on their Woodstock property at 34 years of age.
The next day, after completing 160kms in 12 hours, 18 minutes, both horses worked out in their prospective classes for the coveted best conditioned trophies.
Ms Anderson and Cedar Ridge Carbine took out the Middleweight Best Conditioned Award, and Mr Bailey and Twynham El Zephyr were awarded Heavyweight Best Conditioned.
Both horses were trained out of the Bullio Arabian stables at Orange and will now have a nice rest leading up to a short preparation for the 2018 Tom Quilty Gold Cup in Tasmania in October.
Ms Anderson will ride her horse and, more than likely, Christopher Bailey will ride Twynham El Zephyr and Andrew will attend to support the Bullio Arabian team.