Horse ride takes off for charity
FORTY-NINE days in the saddle of a stockhorse might not seem like your idea of a good holiday, but for Nic Martoo it's simply heaven.
The 47-year-old from Walloon is preparing for his dream getaway riding 1150km from Longreach to Rosewood in the name of charity.
Despite being born to a fishing family in the Brisbane suburb of Wynnum, he said "the call of the west" brought him to the country and now to his perfect holiday break.
Mr Martoo will begin his journey on Sunday, July 15, at the Stockman's Hall of Fame and finish on August 1 at the Rosewood Showgrounds, just outside Ipswich.
A security guard by day, the knockabout horseman said he was achieving a long-held ambition and raising money for two causes close to his heart.
"It's been in the pipeline for about four years," he said.
"We do a couple of packhorse rides a year so I thought, why not do a big one?"
After losing his mum to cancer five years ago, Mr Martoo chose the cancer council as a beneficiary of his fundraiser, as well as Riding for the Disabled Queensland.
Nic will be joined by his brother Simon for the first and last fortnights of the trip and long-time friend Chris Major will drive a support vehicle from town to town.
Mr Martoo will ride his 14-year horse Tucson for the duration of the trip, with his wife's palomino quarter horse Katie serving as either his partner's mount or stockhorse.
The travellers will spend the seven-week trek sleeping under the stars with nothing but swags.
With the temperature expected to drop to zero degrees during the trip, you would expect that would be of most concern to the intrepid traveller. Seems not.
"Snakes, I hate them," he said.
The horsemen will be joined by pony clubs riding into and out of towns.
Local councils are also on board for fundraising events along the way as the riders aim to raise $25,000 for the two charities.
Pledge your support for Nic's 1150 by Horse trip at everydayhero.com.au.