Ride of sheer endurance

WAERA marathon. Picture: Chris Ros

WAERA marathon. Picture: Chris Ros

Western Australian Endurance Riders Association Inc. will be holding its 2017 Easter Marathon in Collie this Easter long weekend. 

The endurance ride is divided into several distance categories, and is spread across the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

Western Australian Endurance Rider's Association Inc. Fundraising and Awards coordinator Carly Arnason said endurance riding focuses on managing your horse. 

“We don’t really call it racing because it’s not about speed, it’s about management of your horse,” she said. 

“Generally we have 20, 40 and 80 kilometre rides. The 20 and 40 are just training and the 80 kilometre is considered competitive, where you can get placed.”

The Western Australian endurance riders association was started in 1976 and the first ride was held in 1983. 

Ms Arnason said the marathon, which is held this weekend, will run over the course of three consecutive days.

The riders will pass through bush tracks and past properties, as the riders navigate through varied terrains. 

“The 20 and 40 kilometre rides are really considered training, and the 80 kilometres and above is considered competitive,” Ms Arnason said. 

“You get scores throughout your vetting. You get a vet check done on your horse before your ride to make sure they are fit to start, and you always get one at the end to make sure they have been managed well.”

“They get their heart rate done, they get their gut sounds checked, they check their back, capillary refill, their legs, they do a trot up to make sure that they aren’t lame, to make sure everything is good.”

All terrain: Caitlin Liebman-Reimers and Mexico during a ride in 2005. Picture: Chris Ros

All terrain: Caitlin Liebman-Reimers and Mexico during a ride in 2005. Picture: Chris Ros

Ms Arnason said the bigger rides have vet checks in the middle of them, to make sure the horse is fit to continue.

“The 160 kilometres is done in 5 or 6 legs, so you will have a vet check in between,” she said. 

“There are heaps of vet check to make sure the horses are totally fine to compete the whole way through the ride.” 

Ms Arnason said riders from across the state will compete in the upcoming marathon. 

The ride will start from the Collie Racetrack on Friday, April 14.

Members from WAERA will be preset to talk to anyone who may be interested in joining the club. 

For more information got to www.waera.asn.au or visit their Facebook page.