In October of 2016, Sarah accomplished her “wildest” dreams at Race the Wild Coast, a 350km adventure race along the eastern coast of South Africa. Riding in the leading pack the entire time, Sarah is most proud of her horse management – allowing her first out of the vet check almost every time. In a 500m dash at the end of the race, she placed 3rd, only seconds behind 1st and 2nd place. Keep checking back for more details, as she will be in a documentary about the race due out in February 2017.
In August of 2014, Sarah took on the Mongol Derby – also known as the World’s Longest Horse Race. Due to safety concerns with her equipment, Sarah chose to withdraw in one piece and with a positive attitude, and plans to take another crack at in a few years in hopes that luck will return to her side.
In July of 2015, she reunited with Mongol Derby veterans to herd horses in Iceland, riding for 6 days totaling 250km.
Sarah is a Canadian endurance rider with over 3000kms to her name in competition. She is currently a FEI level 2* rider, eligible to ride FEI 3*. On home soil, in Southern Ontario, Sarah competes her Arab x Trakehner Cricklewood (known around the barn as Bentley). Together they have placed in the top ten of every 40km to 120km events they have entered, with notable achievements of earning the OCTRA Part-Arab award in 2013&2014, winning the 1* division of the Pan-Am test event in 2014, and earning a perfect vet score in May 2017. Sarah also competes regularly in Ride N Tie events, and has earned top awards in 2 teams in 2013 and 2014.
Sarah is also an avid writer and the main contributor and owner of this blog. It is her goal to promote competitive distance riding and help bring it to the mainstream media through stories, photos, videos, and most importantly adventures!
Although Ashley is new to endurance, she is not new to horses. Starting riding at a young age, Ashley has competed in many disciplines including barrel racing, western performance classes, hunter, jumper, and eventing. She was also a member of the Canadian Cowgirls drill team, getting the opportunity to travel across North America as a proud ambassador for our great country. Although she lives for the excitement of the show ring, her favourite thing to do is get lost on the trail for hours. This led her to discover the world of endurance. Her pinto mare, Splash, much prefers the trail to the arena so it seemed like a good fit. They completed their first distance ride (25 miles) in 2014 finishing an impressive second place. 2015 was their first full year of competition culminating in completing their first 50 mile ride, finishing over an hour before they had originally planned to with great vet scores throughout.
2016 was a stand out year for Ashley and Splash. They completed their first international level competition, earning them their FEI 1* status. Along with Ashley’s younger brother, they won the Ontario championship competition for ride n tie and were 2nd in the overall OCTRA standings for senior ride n tie team. Ashley and Splash also finished 6th in the High Point Overall Horse standings. Splash was in the top ten for high mileage horse and third in the high point best of the rest category (for any breed that is not Arabian, Morgan, Standardbred or Quarter Horse).
Keep an eye out for this pair in the years to come as they are planning on attempting the Shore to Shore race, a 250 mile race across the state of Michigan from the shore of Lake Huron to the shore of Lake Michigan. Completing the Tevis Cup is on Ashley’s bucket list!
Well, my first endurance ride was the Mongol Derby in 2014 where I finished in the top 10 with no vet penalties. Followed by the inaugural running of Race the Wild Coast in 2016 (3 horses over 250 miles of South Africa) where I also finished in the top ten (ok there were only 13 of us) with no vet penalties.
I have since done a number of 50+ rides in the southwest, a 50 in Florida, a 25 in Ontario put on by OCTRA, and just completed Tevis (first 100 for both me and the horse). Aside from Tevis, they were exceptionally well run. OCTRA in particular is growing and with good reason.
Prior to endurance, I evented successfully at the Preliminary Level, I foxhunt and have whipped in, and have exercised horses for the track.