Friday, May 07, 2010
South Africa: Conquering a Dark World
Horsejunction.co.za - Full Article
Ever since he completed his first Fauresmith 200 endurance ride last year, the blind endurance rider, Carl de Campos, has been in the news quite a bit. Read on to find out more about this remarkable rider.
I started riding horses approximately four years ago, starting with beginner trails where the horses follow each other, and then advancing to a facility where they offer out-rides and you can go at your own pace on a game farm. I then leased Dewaal privately, and later even moved to the game farm where I rode Dewaal regularly. I also started riding out alone along the safe and defined sand roads, which my horse followed religiously.
Taking the plunge
I always wanted to participate in endurance riding, but knew that I'd need my own horse and knew it wasn't a cheap sport. Then, in 2008, I took the plunge and went shopping for a non-pure-bred, cost-effective all-rounder horse, and stumbled across Billy, a beautiful black gelding of approximately ten years old at the time, with a fiery spirit and wonderful nature. In the process I stumbled upon Kobus Smit, a cancer survivor who has, since selling me Billy, become my mentor and main sighted guide on the endurance rides.
I parttook in my first 30 km endurance ride at Randfontein, and realised there how competitive and forward-going Billy is on these rides. I mostly ride in front of Kobus and he warns me of obstacles, splits in the path, etc. Billy generally sticks to the paths for me.
I went on to riding a couple of 30- and 40-km rides, and then accompanied Kobus to Fauresmith 2008 as his official groom. I was also his official groom at Walvis Bay during the Africa Tri-nations. And since then I wanted to ride Fauresmith myself...
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