LEBRINA could arguably be Tasmania’s hottest breeding ground of elite horses and riders after a successful time at Australia's premier equine endurance event on the weekend.
Brooke Brown-Cordell, 20, took out the 52nd 160-kilometre Tom Quilty Gold Cup in Wirrina Cove, South Australia, on Tierview Salama from last year’s winner and Tasmanian Debbie Grull on Lauralyn Notorious.
Brown-Cordell’s fellow Lebrina riders Bella Pickering and Kirstie Lockhart finished one-two in the junior class on Vandieman Trojan and Zane, respectively.
Angela Hawks, of Natone, was third (10:55.39) in the lightweight riding Rose Gum Tolstoy.
About 160 horses and riders set out to complete the grueling championship course within the required 24-hour limit, yet bad weather saw just 106 make it to the end.
Brown-Cordell won in 10 hours, 28 minutes and 40 seconds – about 40 minutes clear of Grull (11:11.21).
“It honestly still hasn’t sunk in yet. I’ve never gone to a Quilty to win it, I’ve always gone to do my best,” the former Lilydale District School student said.
“I’ve been doing endurance since I was eight and I just enjoy being with my horse.
“You never know the track so you can never fully prepare for it and this year’s was very challenging and hilly.
“This is my third Quilty buckle. One I got back in 2010 as a junior for being the second junior and third overall and I also got a fourth in the middlewieght last year.”
Next year’s event will at Scottsdale in October, which Brown-Cordell said would give the states riders a significant advantage.
Brown-Cordell, a horse trainer, said she will spend the next 14 months preparing to defender her crown.
“It will be nice not having to stress about the travel,” she said.
“We will know next year’s course, which is a bonus, and we have already done practice events over the course.
“We had one at Easter time and I won that on the same mare.
“They are also holding the state championships there in October so that will be good practice.”
Next year’s event will be based at Santarena Park between Scottsdale and Bridport.