TZANEEN: A case of the tortoise and the hare

Danielle Breed on Mekadesh Zunata.

The Letaba Endurance Riding Club (Letaba Uithourit Klub) organised a horse riding endurance event in Mokopane on September 8 and 9. Many local riders hooked up their trailers and headed across to take on competitors from far and wide.

A total of 55 entries were received which included riders from Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng .

Competitors had a choice between a 80 km or 120 km endurance rides which catered for different aged groups.

For the not so brave, both 16 km and 40 km fun courses were on offer.

Read: Tzaneen riders rein in the awards

Local endurance rider and Merensky learner, Danielle Breed (15) and her horse Mekadesh Zunata, took part in the 80 km event and ending up taking second place in the children’s division. Her father Quentin acted as her groom for the weekend and told the LETABA HERALD, “It was a true endurance race. It was hectic on everybody. You didn’t have to be the fastest, you just had to finish.”

The terrain was tough, bringing the average speed of horse and rider right down. The approach was therefore quite different from other events, where speed is usually essential. It was a definitely a case of ‘slow and steady wins the race’.

Yanica Haasbroek flying through on her horse.

Jessica Osmers, chairman of the Letaba Endurance Riding Club said: “We were approached by Audrey’s Riding School to organise an event in this area which we gladly did as we have never staged one here before.

“The route was extremely technical and could be described as one of the more difficult trails in South Africa but was equally beautiful. No serious injuries were reported and we received a tremendous amount of feedback. We are looking forward to 2019 when we will be hosting an event in March as well as in September.”

Quentin went on to commend the board on the organisation of the event: “This was the first race organised under the new board, with Jessica as the chairperson. It was the first time the track was tested and it was a huge success.”

Marietjie Botha was the 80 km lightweight endurance winner of the day.

Osmers and the Letaba Endurance Riding Club would like to extend their thanks to all the sponsors of the event: Tibani Lodge, Zander Osmers Safaris, Muis Joubert, Dawid Breed, Martiens Marais, Cornel Viljoen, Wisani Burial Society, Equine and Canine Veterinary Therapy, Equisupreme Equine Supplements, Horse & Rider, Mangata Vets, Bosveld Tack, HQ Magazine, Rooies & Meerkat Trust, Pest Co, Northern Platinum Solutions, Bryntirion Brewery, Trappers, Granite 4 Ever, ADA Distributors, Piet Stickers & Signs, Midas Tzaneen and The Doors Inn.

  AUTHOR
Beth Coetzee and Lionèl van Wyk

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