Tough ride

ABOUT 100 horses and their riders took part in the Collie Classic Endurance Ride on Saturday morning.

The ride started and finished at the Collie Race Track and travelled over cross country courses that included bush tracks and firebreaks through the picturesque Collie country side.

The event covered distances from 15 kilometres for beginners and social riders to 100km for the experienced.

The Collie Classic is a horse race with a difference, where completion is more important than speed and friendship more important that competition.

Deb Ryan, riding Forest Dew Charisma won the Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray Trophy for best performance by a local horse and rider.

The ride is held annually and this year was dedicated to a Collie local, Nancy Riley in honour of the outstanding service she has provided to the local community and horse sports.

Riley helped organise one of the first endurance rides in Collie, held from the Wallsend Ground about 30 years ago and was a key figure in establishing the Collie-Darkan Rail Trail, part of which was named after Nancy's late husband, Clarrie Riley.

Riley started the first Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) group in Collie.

Over the years, she has donated many items to RDA including three horses. The first was Chinchilla, followed by her famous horse Charm, who became an integral part of RDA for many years and taught scores of Collie children to ride.

Her latest donation was B'trix, who is used for carriage driving as well as in riding lessons.

In previous years the ride organisers have recognised Arnold Lewis and Trudy Myers for their contribution to endurance riding and horse sports in Collie.

The ride was organised and run by the Collie Endurance and Trail Riders' Club and was an official ride of the Western Australian Endurance Riders' Association.