Horses battle wet conditions during 2016 National Endurance Championships

Reigning champion Ben Hudson has successfully defended his national title after completing the 160km ride in very wet conditions at the 2016 National Endurance Championships.

Horses battle wet conditions during endurance championships

Second place went to Kaylea Maher on A'Landell Ali from Rushoz Endurance in Imbil. Source: Sarah Sullivan

The championships were held at Sterling Crossing Endurance at Imbil on Queensland's Sunshine Coast on the weekend.

Despite heavy rain and tough conditions, Hudson achieved the impressive time of 10 hours 15 minutes and 30 seconds. He was riding Cap Braveheart from Oso Arabians in Table Top New South Wales.

Ben Hudson, winner of the 160km event. Source: Sarah Sullivan Photography

Together the pair were averaging a speed of about 15km per hour, while runner-up Kaylea Maher galloped in only three seconds behind.

Matthew Sample, owner of Sterling Endurance Arabians and founder of the club, said he was delighted with the outcome of the inaugural endurance event.

He congratulated Mr Hudson on the outstanding result.

"Ben had an excellent ride, especially considering riders rode in rain for most of the time which adds significantly to the effort needed to complete the course," Mr Sample said.

"As this is the first time we have hosted an event, we are fortunate that many of these tracks have had very little exposure to riders which made things a little easier on those competing."

Ben has only been competing in endurance for one and a half years, working as an electrician prior to his first foray into the sport.

He has already taken out two Australian titles and last year's Tom Quilty Cup, arguably the most prestigious award in endurance.

Second place went to local girl Kaylea Maher on A'Landell Ali from Rushoz Endurance in Imbil and third went to Naomi O'Shaughnessy from Victoria on Castlebar Party Girl.

This win looks certain to secure Hudson's place in the Australian team travelling to the World Endurance Championships in Slovakia in September this year.

Several of the prospective team members competed at the event.

It was their last opportunity to impress the selectors who will make their decision over the next few weeks.

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