Two elderly sisters are about to take on one of endurance riding's most prestigious races: the Tom Quilty Gold Cup.
Endurance riders worldwide know about the Tom Quilty Gold Cup. It's the premiere endurance ride in Australia, and just to be able to compete in this event is a serious accomplishment for any horse and rider. During the course of the race, riders and horses ride 160 kilometers (just under 100 miles) in 24 hours. But for two sisters preparing to take on the race, there's an added challenge.
Sisters Lois and Julie are a bit older than your average Tom Quilty Gold Cup riders. You see, Lois is 76 and Julie is 80. The sisters decided to enter the race as a way to lift Julie's spirits, as she was recently widowed. They have been riding together since they were kids, and now they're taking on what might be their biggest challenge yet.
7 News in Melbourne interviewed the two sisters:
During the race, Lois and Julie will be in the company of approximately 270 other riders. They'll put their own endurance to the test, in addition to the overall fitness and condition of their horses. But, these sisters are truly living life to the fullest and they're making a dream come true.
Many riders continue riding during the latter years of their lives, though it brings with it an added challenge. Reduced flexibility and balance can make riding a bit more difficult, and many riders note that it is difficult to start up riding later in life once you've taken some time off.
We all know that riding is good for the soul. I certainly hope that when I'm Lois and Julie's age, I'll still be riding. What better pastime is there?