Sydney University modern pentathlete Ed Fernon, recently returned from representing Australia at the London Olympic Games, is embarking on a new challenge, and one with a difference.

Fernon, whose pentathlon disciplines include fencing, swimming, running, shooting and show jumping, will concentrate on the riding component for his new challenge – tracing the hoofsteps of Archer, the first winner of the Melbourne Cup.

His 1100km, five-week charity ride will depart from Archer’s gravesite at Exeter Farm, Braidwood, NSW, on October 1 and travel through Canberra and south to Melbourne, tracing the journey Archer allegedly undertook to race in – and win – the inaugural Melbourne Cup in 1861. While there is some speculation that Archer’s long walk is a tall tale, the legend of his feat has gone into Australian folklore.

After leaving Canberra behind, Fernon, a Master of Commerce student at the University of Sydney, will join the Bicentennial National Trail, traversing some of Australia’s toughest mountain terrain, and arrive at Healesville, Victoria, in time for the 2012 Melbourne Cup on November 6.

During his long days in the saddle he’ll have time to ponder on the reason behind the ride – to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute, an educational, research and clinical facility offering support for people suffering from depression and bipolar disorder.

Fernon says he has been inspired by his mother, who experienced severe depression for a long period of time. After watching her struggle and also the impact it had on family and friends, Ed was motivated to increase awareness of this debilitating illness, as well as raise funds for the institute.

There are several ways to support Ed: via


Twitter & Facebook @legendofarcher

or attending a charity dinner this Friday night:

Following the Legend of Archer Charity Dinner

The Memorial Hall, Saint Ignatius College,

Tambourine Bay Rd, Riverview

7:00 for 7:30pm Friday, 28th September, 2012

Dress code: Cocktail

Come celebrate the launch of Following the Legend

of Archer, the charity project created by Ed Fernon

(OR 2005). Ed will be joined by fellow Olympians Libby

Trickett and Jessica Fox, as they share their London

experiences with MC and Wallaby great Matthew Burke.

The dinner will raise funds for the Black Dog Institute.

Price: $130 ($65 tax deductible), students: $85 ($20 tax deductible).

Ticket includes: Three course meal and drinks, with an auction and raffle to be conducted on the night. To secure your ticket, visit

http://www.trybooking.com/31886 or you can donate at



Christine Zimbulis – 02 9882 8595 [email protected]

Thomas Gillespie – 0434 271 189 [email protected]