Indian Ocean here we come…

Day 1 Beginning in Pacific Ocean Crescent Head on Hannah's 23rd Birthday...

Leaving the Pacific Ocean behind to begin this epic journey feels both like a blink of the eye and a long time…with so many steps between.  Here Esther is now with only one more riding day in Perth to the finale of the 2011 Coast2Coast Horse Trek at Cottlesloe on Saturday 6th August. 97 days of feeding, caring for, saddling up, unsaddling and comforting the horses. 97 days of compromising and working with both Esther and Joe so that we were able to achieve this together. 97 days of things going to plan and 97 days of things not going to plan-and dealing with it calmly. And here we are a days ride to the finale.  My mind turns to Esther and my witnessing of her efforts over the months.   My heart is bursting with pride and respect for this young woman.  Day after grinding day she’s got up and pulled her boots on and mounted up again to fulfill her dream to ride Coast2Coast to ‘put melanoma on the map’.  This has happened. Many thousands of young people now understand a little more about melanaoma and what they can do to prevent it. What they don’t know is the absolute courage, grit and determination that has motivated Esther daily to do this.  To borrow from Ghandi, ‘to be the change you want to see in he world’.  Esther is living this.

Coupled with the finale of this ride is the milestone for Esther of turning 21. That this epic ride bookends her childhood and adolescence is profound.  Never in a million years would Esther have thought back when she was 18 that she’d be 21 without Hannah in her life. Hannah and Esther were like two sides of the same coin. They shared deeply so many things in their lives, a deep passion for horses and livestock….thousands of hours spent talking about horses and supporting each other to achieve their dreams in rodeo, campdrafting and eventing….never thinking that would change.  Hannah  back in September 2008, having a couple of days between treatments- leaving hospital in Sydney  in the middle of another cycle of surgery and radiation to travel all the way to Nana Glen to watch Esther compete in the Zone 9 One Day Event Championship on her good mare ‘Diva’ and the delight when Esther took the A Grade trophy home for a 2nd year in a row. These were the things we thought we’d have for life….never dreaming of Esther turning 21 and being older than Hannah… for life….how does one be older than your older sister?

Our focus turns now to these last few days.  We have family flying in tonight to be here to witness their niece and cousin complete this epic horse trek from Coast2Coast.  Generous people we’ve met along the way coming also to Perth to see Esther ride in and of course one of our major sponsors, David Wallis from Manuka Chaff in Quirindi NSW who has flown to Perth to be here too.

An event like this is only possible because many generous people have worked together to bring it to life. And of course our amazing horses, daily they’ve said ‘yes’ to doing the miles,  us human family working together to  bring this dream alive, all the good people who have generously given to provide the resources to make this ride possible from the very beginning and also along the way, the media who have helped spread the word, the good people following via this website, facebook and twitter…we thank you. Today finally after a week of stormy, windy weather  is a beautiful sunny day and we have much work to do…….

4 Responses to “Indian Ocean here we come…”

  1. Tracy Eather Says:

    Maura I have tears flowing for the passion and strength of your beautiful family and this leg of this mission that you nearly have fulfilled together. The love and strength just emitting from your blog is so powerful! I am truly honoured that I know you as a friend on the same journey. I truly wish I was there with you to witness the end of this amazing leg (I was seriously looking into it as a surprise for you however I need to be in Rockhampton this weekend to visit my mother with Michael) So proud of you, Esther, Joe and you have a truly amazing bond from this purpose and I hope you have a fantastic time celebrating both the journey and Esthers 21st. All my love and big hugs my dear friend! xoxoxo Tracy

  2. Veronica & Peter Says:

    You probably don’t remember us on the Nullabor we camped next to you in our caravan. We are so pleased to see that you made it safely and would like to take this opportunity to wish you a wonderful 21st birthday. Hannah must be very proud of you all. Unfortunately, we are heading up the coast toward Broome and will not be able to be there when you finish your journey. Take care, you are all very special people.

  3. Wendy Bignell Says:

    Congratulations and well done team. What an amazing achievement! You are all inspirational. I can’t even begin to imagine the inner and outer hurdles you and the horses have overcome to get to this point. Mauz, I’ve seen you ‘arrive’ twice in Melbourne and am very sad I won’t be there to cheer you guys home at Cottesloe. I’ll be with you in spirit like the thousands of others whom you have inspired. Esther, you have my admiration and respect. Great work Joe! Wendy B

  4. Andy Says:


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