Quilpie's pride of the west marred by tragedy
RACING: QUILPIE'S Pride of the West races were cancelled part way through on the weekend due to a series of tragic accidents.
Race president Sophie Turner said two horses injured their riders late in the afternoon of Saturday, September 26.
"The last two races were cancelled," she said.
A competitor's horse failed to stop after the Company Challenge race, taking a side gate and throwing its rider.
A later accident was more serious.
"It wasn't in a race, they were marshalling," Ms Turner said.
The horse suddenly died, bringing down its rider and injuring them.
"I haven't had a confirmation on the post-mortem from the vet (as to the cause)," she said.
"She's sustained serious injuries."
Neither of the riders can be named at the time of printing, nor can the extent of injuries be further described.
Ms Turner said both accidents were appalling bad luck.
"We do participate in things and we do ride in horses knowing that there's risks involved," she said.
"And there's been a huge tragedy on the day.
"For us as organisers, our thoughts are with the family of (the latter victim)."
Ironically, the race had been a great success until cancellation.
The race is a one off event, and unique for Queensland.
It is an amateur race, and riders use stock horses.
Ms Turner estimates the crowd numbers at around 400-500, an increase from last year.
"Apart from the tragedy on track, off track everyone had a ball," she said.
"The Plastic Cup, the novelty footrace was a big success."
A number of tourists from Noosa ordered a corporate box for the event.
Larry Amon said they saw an advertisement and organised it on the spot.
"Nobody had ever asked for that before," he said.
Fashions on the field were dominated by Thargomindah ladies this year. Kitsa Warner, who won first place, manages Norley station.
"Thargomindah cleaned up," she said.
"I enter the event every year."
Sam Bartlett said the two-handed cutting competition was bigger and better than last year.
"There were 30 competitors," Bartlett said.
Two handed cutting was won by Andrew Byrnes on Composer's Cowgirl.
Encouragement cutting went to Teagon Mills and the junior award went to Lace Byrnes.
Challenge went to Caroline Byrnes on Colonial Spinnerbuck, who also won overall champion. Mick Hughes from Eromanga won the encouragement award.