THE 1991 TOM QUILTY ENDURANCE RIDE
For those who haven't seen the track where this ride is taking place,
Let's take you on a look-see of the obstacles that they face.
With 800 stamping horse hoofs, wild beating into thunder
At 12 o'clock in the black on night, it really makes you wonder.
No matter what the weather, frosty, rain or sleeting
These brave riders take off, their hearts all fiercely beating.
It's too darn dark to see your hand, with but a torch to light your way
Your trusty steed will see you through, till the break of day.
Now strappers watch the spectral lights gliding out of sight
Disappearing ghostly forms swallowed by the night.
And silently they say a prayer to save you form the spills
Your torches flicker through the trees as you pass by Laurel Hills
And on to Tallawarra, by Yootha you will go
Around the base of Paddy's Rock once direly dreaded so
Once the trail went over it, many will recall
It was just too steep and deadly, you could easily take a fall.
Now out by Ned Smith's windmill you climb by creek and tor
Up and up to Tondurong, ancient volcano core
Like a huge pondering warrior, now frozen into stone
As you pass, by dead of night, you'll feel you're not alone.
And so you go through Timmy Gale's, where he will welcome you,
Over the Uargon Creek, to Cargo's Spire View.
The spectral lanterns glisten, ghostly riders travel far
Across the mountain foothills to Wandillabah!
Where a stand of majestic Ghost Gums, in the blackened velvet night
Catching a beam from your torch, becomes, a heavenward collanade of light.
Down by Honeymoon Hut now, no time to idle there
You're on your way to the check point, come in first if you dare.
For another stiff climb if rising, away from the flat
There you'll find yourself on top, of Cargo's Chinaman's Hat!
Where once on a cold and rainy night a pilot ended his last flighth
But you've no time for feeling blue, as you pass again through Spire View.
Now you cross the Dug-out Creek, to Willow Mount you come
The cold night is making your whole body numb!
Over Wallumburrawong to Leumeah, which means 'place of rest'
You'd love to, I know, but you have to pass the test.
So down through Yootha, you now go, keeping up the pace
It won't be long and you'll be back, at the home base.
You're finishing the first leg of this Endurance Ride
If you pass the vet check you will feel a great sense of Pride.
They'll give you a quick meal, something nice and hot
Then off you go on the second leg. Give it all you've got!
To Toolangatta and Ned's hill, you'll really have to scramble
You're heading out for Kath and Ernie Haylock's Uamble.
Daylight should now be breaking as you make the grand descent
To the Tonderbrine below you, no one would resent
That the Man From Snowy River is not resting in his sleep
But rides again this morning as down the mountain steep.....
You'll let your pony have his head, he's done it all before
And in your seat you have not budged, though you're thrilling to the core.
Then up along the Tonderbrine you'll see the sun arise
Over the Bluff Mountain it's beauty, it's surprise.
Now underneath the Organ Pipes of Naman you will go
You're heading back to Yootha, now don't you dawdle so
With Wattle Springs behind you, over Tooraweenah Creek
You're on your way once more today to Ned's awful peak.
Ned's Hill they call it --- it will test you heart and will
But you are here to conquer it and conquer it you will
Some will climb on hands and knees, 2000 feet you'll rise
Straight up without a break, but you, will win your prize.
For daylight now will light your world, you'll see the grandest view
Of Tondurong and Exmouth, the Bluff and Crater too
Many a stout heart's been broken by that unrelenting climb
But now it's all behind you, you're feeling quite sublime.
Then once again it's down you go, dashing through the trees
To pass by Ned's log cabin and you're thinking life's a breeze
When suddenly there before you .... the steepest of them all
Where riders cling to horses tails to get themselves a haul
Heartbreak Hill is it's name, to break your heart is it's claim
But half way up it's down again, someone's playing a bloody game!
But now at last you're heading home, one question's pounding on your brain
Have you seen the last of it, or will you do it all again?
Back at base again you'll be vetted fed and warmed
The spectators will be watching the patterns that you've formed
As through the check points that you've passed, as posted on the board
You set out on the third leg, in sequence, your reward.
Ten miles out on Coonamble road, you turn right to Dooroombah
To scale the heights of Rockvale, it isn't very far
Though horse and rider will be feeling, just no little pain
As on top they do a "Hughie" and then it's right back down again.
And the going now is easy, though you're feeling almost done
You've lost your sense of humour and you very sense of fun
But help is very near at hand, next door at Coomooroo
With her famous chocolate slab cake, waits the lovely lady Lou.
With a cup of tea to cheer you, she'll see you on your way
And everyone will bless her, I know for sure this day!
You're heading back to base again, through Ernie's you now head
Up the cutting in Skyline, feeling better now you're fed!
Again you face the check points the vetting in as well
And you'll be very grateful to get another spell
Soon you're out on the last leg, you're a little apprehensive
This one could cost you dearly, it could really be expensive.
This is the testing time, for you, and for your horse
But you have learned the secrets of pacing out the course
So far you have evaded exhaustion and the spills
As once again you lead out through John Bull's Laurel Hills.
To James Armytage's Kelburn South to ride Tooraweenah Range
To Laurel Hills and Tallawarra, you might think it very strange
For now you're back in Laurel Hills on a criss-cross sort of trail
And the winner will be feeling there's no way he can fail.
And the cheering that will greet you as you cross the winning line
Is just the sweetest taste there is, as sweet as Cherry Wine!
You know you're Pony's gone well, as well as it could be
You await again the vetting and results you can't wait to see.
For you the ride is over and you know that you have won
You've won the Tom Quilty Gold Cup, that is what you've done!
You're the newest Champion, you feel a special pride
The annals will record you name, your own Tom Quilty Ride!