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Tom Quilty Gold Cup

Tom Quilty Gold Cup

Brook Sample (left) with Brookleigh Excalibur and wife Leigh Ann Sample riding Brookleigh Commander climb a hill during the third leg of the 2013 Tom Quilty Gold Cup 2013, Kilkivan Qld. Photo: Jason McCarthy.

Trophy won by Brook Sample

As road trains, fencing and motorbikes became more widespread on open-range stations from the 1960s, pastoralist and entrepreneur Reginald Murray (RM) Williams became concerned that horses and riders were no longer tested over long distances.

In 1966, Williams gathered support for a 24-hour, 100-mile (160-kilometre) ride, which became known as the Quilty Cup after Williams' friend, cattleman Tom Quilty, donated $1000 for the first prize – a gold cup.

The Quilty became the annual national championships event, and today attracts hundreds of competitors. Arabian and part-Arabian horse breeds dominate the sport.  

Brook Sample started endurance riding at the age of four. He has won the Quilty Gold Cup seven times, the first in 1990 when he was 17 years old.

He won this cup in 2013, riding Brookleigh Excalibur to complete the course in just under 9 hours and 14 minutes.

Tom Quilty Gold Cup
Tom Quilty Gold Cup won by Brook Sample and Brookleigh Excalibur, 2013. Donated by Brooke Sample. National Museum of Australia. Photo: Jason McCarthy.


People and the Environment

Horses in Australia is part of the National Museum's People and the Environment program. Discover more stories about people's relationships with Australia's natural and built environments on our People and the Environment website.