Reliving the "1991 Toora Quilty"- Sonia Bonham

I recently received a wonderful little story written by Sonia Bonham of Bathurst. This short story was written by Sonia for her Trial HSC with the question being "Write something on a personal event that has influences you today".

Sonia's proud parents Peter and Liz Bonham faxed this through to me as it touched their hearts as I'm sure it will touch yours. Allow a little poetic license to accommodate a school examination climate, and you'll really enjoy her thoughts! Well done Sonia!

                                                            "The Tooraweenah Quilty"

It was the night if June the seventh, 1991m the air was thin and cold, adrenalin seemed to cling around me. As I led my horse into the lighted-up arena I saw another one hundred horses and their riders, nervously walking around like lost children. I had been in this situation before, but this time it seemed to be more important to me. I was riding in the endurance ride for the New South Wales, not for myself this time bit for my state. 

It was ten minutes to twelve, I had ten minutes until the gunshot went off and I have to leave hastily with another hundred horse and riders to endure a hundred and sixty kilometers of some of the most treacherous terrain in New South Wales. I kissed my family goodbye and got on my horse, she reacted nervously as she ha been in the situation before. I patted her slowly and reassured her that we'd both be all right. I trusted her like the back of my hand. We were a team. I would wander my torch around the earth and up trees to find the arrows which would point us in the right direction and she would keep her eyes on the tracks to look for dangerous obstacles that she may fall over, allowing us to avoid being ridden over or trampled on, by following riders.

There was two minutes to go. My father came to me, patted Deborah my horse, and then learned up to me and said, "Go out there and do your best, ride your own ride, and give it to them!!" I was so nervous that I couldn't answer Dad, so I just smiled and gave him a wink, he knew what I wanted to say. I turned Deborah and gathered with the other horse at the start, the gun went off, and we left the lights and the campfires behind us as we rode into the darkness.

As i neared the campsite a feeling of great excitement filled my body, the weariness of the last twelve hours had just about been engulfed and as Deborah saw the same sigh she pricked her ear and came to life. As we crossed the finish line, the crowd and clapping brought me back to life too, but it was not over yet. Deborah had to be vetted in, This meant that her heart rate had to be below sixty beats a minute, and she could not look lame, but I knew I could leave this part up to Mum, my faithful strapper.

(Lucky the rider doesn't have to be vetted in!)

We passed the Vet in and won the Lightweight Division and Fittest Horse, and came fourth overall in the Tom Quilty National Championships. This event I will never forget throughout my life.


                                                                                                                                                        Sonia Bonham

Sonia received 17/20 for this essay, topping her year! Congratulations!