There was something for everyone at Wingello, which one rider described as “the perfect family weekend”.

The Legendary Australia Wingello Forest Endurance Ride was held for the eleventh consecutive year over the weekend of 25th & 26th May 2019, with fabulous support from sponsors and local businesses, and a huge roll up of riders from all over the state for a total of 345 entries.

This year, not only was there the usual choice of ride distances from 5km, 10km, 20km 41/61km and 80km, through a collage of landscapes including pine forest, mountain tops offering spectacular views and rainforest gullies displaying secret fern gardens and cool mountain streams, but riders were treated to a wonderful blend of Highland seasons!

During the shorter distance rides on Saturday afternoon, the sun shone warmly and riders cheerfully competed on Thoroughbreds, Shetland Ponies and Standardbreds and everything else in between.  But by Sunday morning, one strapper described the weather as “perishingly cold”.  The arrival of rain settled the dust on track and a spectacular sunrise greeted the 80km riders as they left the ride base at 7am.  The cool forest and shade of the trees throughout the course made temperatures ideal and provided shelter from the cold wind blowing from the Snowy Mountains.

The Legendary Australia endurance team continue to support this much-loved event as our Gold Sponsor, enabling purchase of infrastructure and equipment to cater to the growing popularity of the event.  The event is also well-supported by Silver sponsors Jojubi Saddlery, The Mobile GG Spot, Equissage Edge, The Un-named Cafe at the Wingello Village Store, Performa Ride and Saddleworld Bowral.  Long term support is provided by local businesses Your Event Solution Braemar, Forestry Corporation, Hogan Planning and New-Moon Stud.

The Wingello Equestrian Market engaged shop-a-holics with some retail therapy from Archer Equine, Equissage, Fibre Fresh Feeds, The Mobile GG Spot, Dixon Smith Equestrian, CWA Exeter Branch, Jojubi Saddlery and Performa Ride, while the Wingello Village Store and Snax on Trax Cafe kept everyone well fed.

Dave Newman was back once again entertaining the crowd with his delightful musical offerings around the campfire.

The success of the event is a testament to the commitment, energy and resourcefulness of the Wingello Forest Cherished Volunteers.  Thank you to each and every volunteer for your valuable time and effort in putting on this event.  It would not happen without you!

A special thanks to our Chief Stewards Haydn Fisher and Tony Warren, who create a wonderful atmosphere for the crowds of newcomers whilst competently and professionally managing the large field of competitive riders.

Many thanks also to the vet team, headed by Karim Kooros, and including Darien Feary, Lloyd Varga, Emma Cox, Alicia Kasbarian, Steve Roberts, Matt Walker, Sarah Hartley and Ben Graham.  You are all amazing!

By Bec Hogan and Jo Arblaster