More than 50 horse floats flooded the streets of sleepy Killabakh over the long weekend, their destination - historic Homewood Farm.
Homewood farm welcomed its first endurance event which saw over 85 people and horses compete.
It all started some years ago in Jerrys Plains - another sleepy town more than 300km away. Nigel and Gemma Colefax would befriend neighbours Gary, Deb and Meik Pevy. The Pevy's were known names in the endurance world and they would share their passion for horses and involvement in the sport. Nigel was convinced to park up his motorbikes for the long distance training and competition of endurance while Gemma gravitated towards the less competitive, social side of the ride.
A year on Nigel and Gemma would decide to combine their love of endurance with their equally shared love of Nigel's family's property- Homewood farm.
The Homewood property, once an old dairy farm, is the legacy of Alick and Pat Homewood, known names in the Killabakh community and the (since passed) beloved parents of Bruce, Ruth and Judy Homewood. The property is over 300 acres and backs on to National Park and State Forest, making it both a logical and beautifully scenic choice for the event.
Endurance is a horsey sport for riders of all abilities; for the more relaxed or nervous rider, it offers 5km and 20km social rides and 40km trainer rides for new or young horses. For the more advanced and competitive, there are 80km, 100km and 120km with greater kilometre challenges in special event rides.
Whilst endurance riders are known for being relaxed, 'down to earth' people who enjoy a good campfire, occasional wine or beer and the companionship of their buddies - human, horsey and doggy alike, all are quite serious when it comes to the health, fitness and well being of their partners in competition; the horse stars are trained for fitness, fed special diets and groomed. Horses are then screened by a team of veterinarians pre, mid and post ride. Unfit or injured horses are unable to continue.
On the big day, joint hosts - Kiwarrak Horse Club together with Nigel's family proved that all of the organisation and pre-ride prep had paid off in every way.
Despite weather chaos in what seemed to be most parts of NSW, Alick Homewood parted the heavens to shine down glorious weather for all to enjoy his cherished property and his passion for horses. Nigel's father Barry Colefax an otherwise non-horsey person proved himself a most worthy strapper and together with Nigel's uncle Bruce Homewood, a handy water-cart driver.
Many Killabakh residents immersed themselves in the relaxed nature of the site, bringing picnics, enjoying the buzz of the campsite, observing the tooing and froing of horses and riders and finally bearing witness to a teeth biting gallop finish for the 120km, between riders Deb Pevy and Darryl King, with Darryl taking the title by a nose.
For more information on endurance in NSW please visit Endurance NSW