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Zalman Challenge - Ride Review

Everyone likes new challenges and Oz Endurance certainly had unique obstacles to deal with in the lead up to this event. Floods, massive course damage and then a water release of unprecedented levels.

The event was an overwhelming success, weather conditions were very hot and humid and no horses required veterinary assistance.


The 1 & 2 star events were both held Friday night .

72 % completion in 80kms and 100% in the 120kms .

Total 37 horses.Winner in the open 80km was Caroline Fitzgerald riding Lanamere Kudos and B/C awarded to Dean Chamberlain riding Annordean Sir Zac.

Winner in the youth 80km was Kelsey Irvine riding Brookleigh Quasar and B/C awarded to Noni Seagrim riding Coolinda Park Louisville.

Fastest recoveries in the 80km was Stephen Gray riding Gydanska.

Winner open 120km was Josias Willemse riding Sharaz and Penny Toft riding Emily Jones te, was awarded B/C.

Winner youth 120km was Natasha Willemse riding Corvette and B/C awarded to Alexandra Toft on High Society te.

Congratulations to our young riders that did qualifying performances for the WY&YRC.

Fastest recoveries in the 120kms was Blake Freeman riding Quinta Essentia.

Sincere thanks to all the officials, Head Vet David Brown supported by Jo Hamilton-Branigan, Kathy Webb, Celia Dodd and Peter Kerkenzow. President of the Ground Jury Irene Malone supported by Caroline Windle, Camille and Tony Thorneycroft. Chief Steward Derek Armitage and Technical Delegate Toby Crockett who did a lot more to help the ride happen than just the duties of a TD. Squad Manager Barb Timms supported the O/C and talked with squadees about upcoming International Events. A tired group of officials, stewards and volunteers welcomed in the last horses after sunrise.  


20/40/and 80km events where held on Saturday night . A repetitive course was used to ensure all riders had seen the course in daylight. Matthew Krahnen did a fantastic job as Chief Steward and was very busy with 113 horses. TPR’s included Jackie Wright, Jill Moss, Wendy Smith, Jan Tyrell, Kate Gatsby, Jill Crowley along with 4 new trainees , Tom Kelly, Hal Archer, Keith Sullivan and Bridget Batch. These 4 did the Bremervale TPR course during the summer.

Sincere thanks to this enthusiastic group who stayed right to the last horse. Head Vet Kathy Webb was supported by Jo Hamilton-Branigan, Celia Dodd, Peter Kerkenzow with Brian Sheahan called in at the last minute due to unexpected entries and tough weather conditions.In the office Deb Watson and Caroline Windle backed up from a Friday all nighter ( that was stewarding ) with Dee Berry to provide great secretariat support to all classes. Others to help included Lee Edwards, Simone Krahnen and Briget Batch.

HWT winner and B/C Gregg Fields riding Cattalina

MWT winner and B/C Nick Riley riding Chazar Bandana

LWT winner and B/C Erin Krahnen riding Rodborough Bey Abdul

Jnr winner Dave Anderson riding Moondarra Aragon and B/C winner Laine Zischke riding Sundust Soloman.

Volunteers on course included Lex and Michelle Mc Coombes, Tom Kelly, Hal Archer and Peter Holmes. Course marker, manager and full time water carrier Pierre de Wit did an outstanding job to ensure endless water was available for the horses. Ven Grasso was a tireless worker, he sponsored numerous trophies and all the B/C awards and assisted on course throughout both nights. Thanks also to Paul Fitzgerald and members of FERC that supported us. A NSW competitor broke down on route to the border spray station and Noel Weismann generously assisted with getting the horses off the freeway and into safe temporary accommodation.

Thanks also to our long distance visitors including Fia and Talea Hasko Stewart , Mark, Leslie, Blake and Courtney Freeman , Frank Molema , Noni Seagrim and Steve and Melissa Longhurst from North Queensland. Our first FEI Riders Forum was well supported on Saturday morning. Actions from the meeting are available to those that attended.The next forums are to be held in April and June.

Full ride results are available here.

Peter Toft

Do you have photographs from the Zalman Challenge?

Send them to Oz Endurance with a short caption (and photo credit if required)

and we will do our best to include them in our photo gallery.

To view and order photographs from the Zalman Challenge, please visit

Sue Crockett Photography