Mother and daughter finish epic horse ride Monday, 05 August 2013
An intrepid mother and daughter duo finished their epic horse ride across Europe at the National Trust’s internationally renowned White Horse Hill, Uffington, on 16th July.
Karen Hardy and her 17-year-old daughter Olivia, from New Mexico, completed their 1,700 mile journey across Europe to raise awareness to the plight of unwanted and abandoned horses worldwide, at the iconic Bronze Age site.
The adventurous pair started their marathon trek in Tuscany, Italy, this February, crossing the Alps to snowy Switzerland, then Lichtenstein and Austria, followed by Germany, Belgium and France, before heading over the channel to the U.K.
They have been raising funds for a number of equestrian rescue organisations during their trip, including the U.K’s Blue Cross, which has been dedicated to helping ill, injured and abandoned pets for over 100 years and has a horse rehoming unit at Burford.
They chose to end their six-month ride at the White Horse. They have passed through two other Trust properties on their journey through England, Box Hill and Leith Hill, which are both in Surrey.
Andy Foley, Trust Ranger for White Horse Hill and Ashdown Estate, said, “It really is a very fitting choice for their journey’s end. As one of the region’s most important historical sites, this monument truly reflects the enduring and multi-faceted relationship between horse and man over the ages. At the time of the Horse’s creation, nearly 3000 years ago, this special bond had even evolved into a religion, practiced here and across Europe.”
The pair have been riding about 15 to 20 miles a day, with three rescue horses which they purchased from an Italian slaughter yard at the beginning of their ambitious trip. Their horses are Clyde, a five-year-old chestnut with a white heart on his forehead, Lollipop, a four-year-old chestnut with a small white blaze and white sock, and Dali, a 19-year-old Criollo Quarter horse cross. A fourth horse, Lapo, a 12-year-old seal bay, which they purchased at the same time, was rehomed in Germany during the journey.
Karen, a lifelong horse woman, or cowgirl, who owns stables in New Mexico, said, “We are not politicians or celebrities. We are not supporting or promoting any one way to solve this problem. We are raising awareness, we are bringing the plight of horses out of the shadows and into spotlight. We want to stir the pot Cowgirl style and see what rises to the top.”