THE quaint town of Killabakh saw the return of the Homewood Endurance Ride held over the Easter long weekend.
Since the ride's debut on the Anzac weekend in 2014, word had spread of the incredibly scenic property and parks and hospitality of the Kiwarrak Club and Colefax and Homewood families, attracting riders from as far as Sydney, Coffs Harbour and Sunshine Coast to name a few, with some campers arriving as early as Wednesday.
Float after float arrived with more than 150 people descending on Homewood Farm, inclusive of 104 riders with strappers and family in tow. Unfortunately, the stormy weather also flooded in and settled for the duration of the event, bogging up the ground and causing entire ride paths to be re-marked last minute.
Ride organisers and family members worked round the clock mapping trails, marking tracks and hazards, clearing ground debris and overhead canopy and providing water troughs throughout the ride and on camp.
Homewood hosted a 160km ride for its first time with riders starting at midnight on Saturday. There were 16 riders in total with only six completing, illuminating the challenges of endurance in general and the weather conditions in particular on this occasion.
Winners of the 160km ride - Nicole Smith and Elizabeth Moir demonstrated the strong kinship that is the endurance sport, holding hands to place equal first, completing the ride in 17 hrs 41 mins. A phenomenal effort by Isabelle Forster taking first place in the junior category at 19 hrs 55 mins.
Debbi Pevy placed first in both 80km rides held on the Saturday and Sunday with a fastest time of 5 hr 32mins. If placing first in both rides would not be impressive enough, daughter Tomeika would place first in the junior category for the 80km ride.
Workers, riders and campers alike remained chipper despite the obvious challenges of the weekend and many will have stories to tell of the time their floats were towed out of the bog by a tractor!