23 June 2017
Competing in some of Australia’s toughest endurance horse rides has taught USC Nursing Science student Lisa Loranger all about facing challenges and chasing goals.
The Spanish Arabian horse stud owner from Wolvi near Gympie is studying a Bachelor of Nursing Science at USC, works as an assistant-in-nursing at Gympie Hospital, and is one of the nation’s top endurance riders.
“I enjoy a challenge, so within weeks of starting as an assistant-in-nursing in the hospital’s operating suites, I knew I wanted to do more,” said Ms Loranger, 37, who previously worked as dental nurse.
“I was inspired by my hospital co-workers and, with their encouragement, I started part-time in Semester 1 this year at USC’s Gympie campus.”
She recently received a $1,000 Mike Kelly Academic Scholarship from Queensland Health to assist with purchasing textbooks for her first-year Nursing Science studies.
“I have very supportive teams at my workplace and at USC Gympie. They allow me to achieve my goals in both work and study.”
Ms Loranger said the mental and physical toughness needed for endurance riding was an advantage in managing the demands of work, study and running the Kael Park Spanish Arabian Stud.
“There is a saying in endurance racing that to compete is to win, and the general nature of the sport requires riders to be very determined and focused on the end result,” she said.
“The events are a race against the clock, but also a test of the rider’s knowledge of the horse and their ability to cover a variety of terrain over long distances and still finish with the horse in good condition.”
In April, Ms Loranger rode for one of Australia’s top studs Lockleigh Park International in Tasmania’s prestigious Endurance 66 Marathon, winning the middleweight division and placing second in another 80km race.
“I am currently preparing two of our endurance horses to attend the Shahzada 400km marathon in New South Wales in August, which is considered by many as the ultimate test in horsemanship.”
— Clare McKay