Each year prior to the Festival, horse riders set out on a four day trail ride through breathtaking scenery which lent poetic inspiration to Banjo Paterson. Known as ‘Riley’s Ride’ the event is an essential element of the Bush Festival. It traces the last journey of legendary Upper Murray stockman, Jack Riley who met Banjo Paterson in 1890 and is locally regarded as the inspiration for Paterson ‘s famous ballad, “The Man from Snowy River”.
Follow the footsteps of the Man from Snowy River, meet new friends and have a great time whilst enjoying the scenery of the magnificent Upper Murray.
The annual ride is held to commemorate Jack Riley’s life, and the part he played in the early days of this district, and also to laud the efforts of those who selflessly sought to rescue him under harsh and trying conditions. Jack and his meeting with Banjo, is reputed to be the inspiration which led to the penning of “The Man From Snowy River”, Banjo Paterson’s epic ballad. Riley’s Ride was instigated in 1989. The ride offers spectacular views and the chance to meet people from far and wide, who may come from many different walks of life but share a love of the Australian bush and deep respect for the pioneering families of the area. It is a challenging ride and a character building experience.
Please remember that the 4 day trail ride does cover mountainous terrain with several very steep climbs and descents. You and your horse should have a good level of fitness and be well prepared to limit the chance of injury. You will be travelling through remote and difficult to access, other than by horse or foot, areas. You must have current ambulance cover.
We travel on average about 30kms a day. You can expect to spend between 5 to 8 hours in the saddle each day. We break into groups of about 8 horses for most stages of the ride.
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1. All riders to be 18 years and over.
2. All Riders must have ambulance cover.
3. Riders are to obey designated trail guides in all instances for the safety of all.
4. Horses and riders should be accustomed to mountain trail riding and riding in a mob.
5. Each rider is responsible for their own horse, including injuries incurred to either themselves or their horse, and will be responsible for any costs associated with treatment or transport.
6. All horses to be enclosed within an electric fence supplied by the rider at night, and hobbled or tethered if necessary.
7. All riders to be responsible for their own camping gear and will need to bring own plates, mug, cutlery, chair etc.
8. All rubbish is to be deposited at the catering tent for removal – Under no circumstances is litter to be left where you have camped!
9. Any group larger than 4 are advised to have their own back up vehicle and driver.
10. All equipment is to be loaded prior to breaking camp.
11. Absolutely no pre-Monday arrivals at Tom Groggin.
12. It is advised that horses be fully vaccinated prior to participation – check with your local vet for more details.
13. All horses need to be sound and shod, either with horse boots or metal, if barefoot, their hooves must be conditioned to all types of terrain, including very rocky and properly fitted hoof boots must be carried and used at the earliest sign that the horse is not coping with the terrain.
14. No alcohol is to be consumed whilst riding or attending to horses.
15. No stallions to be taken on the ride.
16. No grain feed is to be taken on ride.
17. Riders must have appropriate riding attire e.g. Oilskin coat, riding boots, Akubra,(or similar) hat.
Rider to provide:
1. Own camping arrangements – camping gear, tent, swag, folding chair, plate, mug, eating utensils, tea-towel, torch, etc.
2. Own horse gear including hobbles if required, rug, nosebag, buckets, electric fence etc.
3. Own saddle, bridle, breastplate, crupper & saddle bag.
4. Own beverage – strictly wine casks and cans only – NO GLASS.
5. Drink bottle for day use, if desired. Bottled water is supplied.
6. A great sense of adventure and respect for the Australian bush and fellow riders.
Riley’s Ride to provide:
1. All meals – from Monday evening to Friday lunch. NB: Monday lunch not provided.
2. Limited supply of horse feed. Cool Fuel & local pasture hay.
3. Toilet facilities and showers (where possible).
5. High quality co-ordination of ride and camp sites.
6. Limited transport.
Please Note: Horses and riders must be accustomed to steep mountain trail riding with no fear of heights or bush terrain.
Riley’s Ride 2016
To book a place in the 2016 Riley’s Ride you will need to be in the first 50 to pay a $300 deposit at this years’ festival on Sunday 12th April between 10am and 11am at the Merchandise Marquee at the Recreation Reserve.
Places may be booked and a deposit paid for on behalf of another rider. The nominated riders details must include the following to be eligible: name, postal address, contact phone number and email address.
Bookings are not transferable.
Any cancellation will incur a Cancellation Fee.
In the case of any places becoming vacant, they will be announced in July and filled on a first in best dressed basis.
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