BIG DAY COMING: Horse Brookleigh Beyonce, Matthew Sample Jnr and his brother Zachary are excited for the Tom Quilty Gold Cup.
BIG DAY COMING: Horse Brookleigh Beyonce, Matthew Sample Jnr and his brother Zachary are excited for the Tom Quilty Gold Cup. Bec Singh

Sibling rivalry ignites for Imbil endurance ride

Horse riding: Matthew Sample Jnr and his younger brother Zachary are two of more than 300 riders in the annual Tom Quilty Gold Cup next weekend.

Riders take to the track at midnight Friday in the Imbil State Forest for a 160km course they have 24 hours to complete.

This will be Matthew's first time participating and he is aiming for a top place.

Tom Quilty cup 2019 feature. Golden guitar winning singer/songwriter Trevor Knight penned The Ballad of Tom Quilty, a song which has become part of the tradition since 1993.
Tom Quilty cup 2019 feature. Golden guitar winning singer/songwriter Trevor Knight penned The Ballad of Tom Quilty, a song which has become part of the tradition since 1993. Contributed

"I have done a 160km (ride) before to qualify for this race but I have not actually done the Tom Quilty before,” he said.

"(It is different to the other rides) because it's the biggest rides on the year and it is the Tom Quilty Gold Cup.

"The other 160km I finished in 15hours and was second overall junior and hopefully this one will be shorter. I want to get up the top but we will see how I go.”

Tom Quilty cup 2019 feature. The Tom Quilty cup which was named after R.M. William's close friend Tom Quilty who donated $1000 in 1966 to create it,  is held in the 'Stockman's Hall of Fame' in Longreach.
Tom Quilty cup 2019 feature. The Tom Quilty cup which was named after R.M. William's close friend Tom Quilty who donated $1000 in 1966 to create it, is held in the 'Stockman's Hall of Fame' in Longreach. Contributed

Matthew has his goal in mind but understands there are variables that could change that.

"My goal of course is to come first junior, I will give it my best shot but it depends on my horse,” he said.

Zachary is competing for the first time at this event and is the youngest competitor.

"You have to be 12 and over to compete,” he said.

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"I did the state champs here and I am a bit familiar with the track.”

The buckle is his main goal - anything else is a bonus.

"It is what everyone gets for completing the ride but if I get in the top five or even top three that would be awesome,” he said.

Tom Quilty Cup 2019 feature. Matthew Sample won the Tom Quilty Cup in 2009.
Tom Quilty Cup 2019 feature. Matthew Sample won the Tom Quilty Cup in 2009. Matt Bennet

"Just to get a buckle would be amazing. I just want to complete the ride.”

It will be a sleepless 24 hours for Zachary.

"You usually get up at 11pm and get in your riding gear, you usually would warm up for half an hour before the race and then you go out at midnight to race,” he said.

Tom Quilty cup 2019 feature. 12 year old Zac Sample is one of the youngest competitors in this year's Tom Quilty endurance ride.
Tom Quilty cup 2019 feature. 12 year old Zac Sample is one of the youngest competitors in this year's Tom Quilty endurance ride. Sarah Sullivan

You are just up for 24 hours. My last 160km, after I finished I went into the showers and had a 45-minute shower because I was soaked from the rain.

"You feel pretty tired afterwards.”