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July 2010 Issue
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Epic ride celebrates key event in uni's history

 Heritage

Twenty-five horse riders have paraded up North Terrace to the University of Adelaide in a symbolic re-enactment of the epic ride from Moonta to Adelaide which helped establish both Yorke Peninsula's copper industry and the University.

As part of the Copper Coast's 150th anniversary celebrations, the riders followed in the path of William Horn who rode through the night - covering 264kms in 22 hours - to register a copper claim ahead of rivals on behalf of Sir Walter Watson Hughes, the University's founding benefactor.

The riders from Yorke Peninsula's Central Zone Pony Club set out from Moonta and rode in stages over the long weekend in June, riding past the statue of Sir Walter Watson Hughes in front of the University's Mitchell Building and finishing at Bonython Hall.

At Bonython Hall, a formal framed greeting in recognition of the event was presented by Copper Coast Mayor Paul Thomas to Lord Mayor of Adelaide Michael Harbison and Professor Peter Dowd, Executive Dean of the University's Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences.

Presentations to the riders were followed by a morning tea featuring Cornish pasties from the renowned Prices Bakery and a display in the foyer of Bonython Hall of copper ore specimens from the area, including specimens on loan from the South Australian Museum.

William Horn went on to become a mining magnate, pastoralist and politician.

Sir Walter Watson Hughes became the largest shareholder in the Wallaroo and Moonta Mining and Smelting Company. His gift of 20,000 in 1872 led to the foundation of the University of Adelaide in 1874, giving South Australia the nation's third university.

Story by Robyn Mills

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From left: Lord Mayor of Adelaide Michael Harbison with two of the riders who made the 264km trek, Renee Smith, 12, and Charlie Penna, 8, both from Moonta, with their ponies Wattle Brae Princess (who is almost 25 years old) and Rudi
Photo by Candy Gibson

From left: Lord Mayor of Adelaide Michael Harbison with two of the riders who made the 264km trek, Renee Smith, 12, and Charlie Penna, 8, both from Moonta, with their ponies Wattle Brae Princess (who is almost 25 years old) and Rudi
Photo by Candy Gibson

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