One of the year’s most anticipated Eastern Cape endurance rides took place last weekend – the Tarka Ride, hosted by the Hofmeyr Club on Gys & Mariska Botha’s farm in Golden Valley near Tarkastad. For the first time, the 120km distance also included a team competition, with a huge prize of R10,000 for the team to deliver the best time from 3 horses!
The competition was fierce, with close to 30 horses entered for the 120, and it was a near-run thing, with Team Landman taking the R10,000 team prize home. Close behind them was Waterlea Endurance in 2nd place, followed by the Green team from Perseverance Arabian & Endurance Horses 1 minute later. Blakeridge Endurance came 4th.
Laura Seegers on PSV Mabruk won the Standardweight 120km in 6h09 – the fastest time on the course – and took Senior Best Condition. Ashley Gower on PSV Mercury won the Young Rider 120 in 6h50, and took Junior Best Condition, while Lourens Marais on Kaspaas won the Heavyweight 120 in 6h10. Margaret Hobson from Blakeridge won the Lightweight 120 on High Noon in 7h12.
The barefoot horses certainly proved themselves again over all the distances, with both the Best Condition awards going to horses from Perseverance. Francois Seegers on PSV Karoo came third in the 120 km Heavyweight in 6h54, while the barefoot Daleview Equestrian Academy also did well, with Dylan Webb coming 2nd in the Young Rider 80km in 4h21 on Torstone Picachu. Unfortunately his teammate Tarryn McLaren had a nasty fall in front of three of the Perseverance team – who stopped to help her – and had to withdraw.
In the 80km distance, Oscar Lord on Alicedale Hidalgo won the Heavyweight category, with N Mbulalie on El Charney Masterpiece taking the Standardweight 1st place. Lauren Lourens on Banghor Shandakan came 1st in the Lightweights, and Kirsty Masterson on Cydrob Crown Amira won the Young Riders category.
Thank you to the all the vets, Nettie and Bernie for the cooking skills, Charles Lord for the timekeeping, and to Gerdie Landman & Gys Botha for sharing the ridemaster duties.
Lucy Dixon, September 2011