ON THE HORSE Featured Rider: Sarah Cuthbertson

Sarah with her team of 3 horses for Race The Wild Coast. Gerber, Ramkat, and Asad. PC: Ian Haggerty

DATE OF BIRTH: May 30, 1986
HOMETOWN: Georgetown, Ontario
BASED OUT OF: Mansfield, Ontario
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS?: With 5 more bucket list completions added to my list.

Sarah is a Canadian Endurance rider with over 2000kms to her name in competition, and about ten times that in training rides and leisure. She is currently a FEI level 2* rider, eligible to ride FEI 3*. On home soil, in Southern Ontario, Sarah competes with 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, and winning the 1* division of the Pan-Am test event in 2014. Sarah also competes regularly in Ride N Tie events, and has earned top awards on two teams in both 2013 and 2014.

Sarah is also an avid writer, and the main contributor and owner of EatSleepRideRepeat.com. 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!

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, with a positive attitude and plans to take another crack at it in a few years in hopes that luck would return to her side.

Sarah riding a Mongolian horse in the Mongol Derby, whipping across the Steppe at about 35 kmh! PC: Richard Dunwoody

In July of 2015, she reunited with Mongol Derby veterans to herd horses in Iceland, riding for 6 days totaling 250km.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. She will be in a documentary about the race due out in February 2017.

Sarah tacking up Ramkat at 4:15 in the morning. Being in the leading pack meant very early mornings! PC: Rockethorse Racing

The race itself was punishing. She rode 3 different horses – 2 native Boerpoerd horses (Gerber and Ramkat) and 1 Arabian (Asad) over 4 days. The terrain was unimaginably beautiful but also tough – pristine beaches, steep mountain climbs and descents, swimming horses across rivers up to 50m wide, and thick, thorny forests that would leave your clothes and body in shreds and bloody. Physical and mental strength were key, combined with good preparation, ingenuity, riding capability, and a serious sense of humour. In addition to the tough terrain and weather, she was limited to 5kg of gear to carry with her – just enough for a sleeping bag, pain meds, a few snacks, and her emergency tracker.

Sarah and Gerber crossing a waterfall during Race The Wild Coast. PC: Rockethorse Racing

Despite some extreme chafing – Sarah had the best time of her life! She strongly recommends the trip to anyone looking to shake up their routine and experience the beauty of the Wild Coast, and making it a race helps to push your limits and test your skills of managing horses and navigating yourself without the help of a guide. The satisfaction of completing a big race in a foreign land is immeasurable!

Next up, Sarah hopes to prepare Bentley to take on the Shore to Shore challenge in Michigan – 5 days, 80km per day on a single horse. The skills she learned in South Africa will certainly help her get through, but to do this on a single horse is no easy feat! She also hopes to continue to inspire people (young women in particular) to set their sights high and take a stab at their dreams.

BIRTHDATE: July 19, 2008
PEDIGREE: Trakehner x Arab (Deacon x Madelaina)
HEIGHT: 16.2hh
LOVES: Kicking into 5th gear on the trail, bushwhacking, Fatboy Slim’s “Rockefeller Skank” (I kid you not) HATES: Dressage – the necessary evil
IF HE WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL, HE WOULD BE: Probably in the smoking pit, haggling passing by cars.

Sarah and Bentley riding through Coates Creek

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