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Abdullah Kharmis Ali Saheed and Tora Blar-Zay Winners of the 2006 Tom Quilty Boonah


Article by Liz Buchanan, Tuesday, 13 June 2006 http://www.efaq.com.au/?page=8498&format=


The Tom Quilty Gold Cup 2006 has been confirmed as a truly international event with UAE rider, Abdullah Kharmis Ali Saheed on the Toft Endurance-trained Tora Blar-Zay winning a well-deserved first place in a time of 9 hours and 15 minutes.

Second out of the field of 305 starters was Howard Harris from Kurrajong, NSW on Harmere Turfan. Third was Penny Toft of Marburg on Electra BP Murdoch and in fourth place, Kenilworth rider Brook Sample of Gheerulla Stables, on Brookleigh Mozart..

The event attracted riders from as far afield as Ireland, the USA and Namibia. There were strong contingents from the UAE and Japan.

Quilty Head Vet, Dr Brian Sheehan said the 160km event, held in the foothills of the Scenic Rim at Boonah, South East Queensland, had been an extraordinary success: “We had just enough rain to soften the track. The cool conditions made it easier for the strapping crews to manage their horses.

“We had no serious incidents. The great majority of riders rode well within the capacity of their horses. And the completion rate of 57% is in line with the big events of this type.”

Dr Sheahan said his team of 30 vets had been impressed by the overall condition of the field. “While it is always a great pleasure to work on an event of this magnitude and the top international riders who compete, it is especially satisfying to share the pure joy of the ‘completers’ – those riders who enter to test themselves and their horses over 100 miles.”

His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla bin Faisal al Qasimi of the UAE took out First Lightweight on Kaysand Farrah and Queenslander, Warwick Toft on Bremervale Justice was First Heavyweight. Ian Davidson on Celebration and Liela Callendar on Jaytee the Rebel were joint winners in the Junior Division.

Hosts, the Fassifern Pony Club, had a particularly successful time of it with six of their seven riders and horses finishing the event.

Much loved Australian actor, Ernie Dingo officiated by starting the riders at midnight on Friday. The Gold Cup was presented at an historic gathering of Tom Quilty’s daughter Doreen, now in her 80s, co-founder, Erica Williams, Ron and Val Males and others who helped build the foundations of the sport in Australia.


Doreen Quilty, Pauline Clayon and Erica Williams