Tuesday, August 28, 2012

9 Questions for KER-Sponsored Endurance Rider Kelsey Kimbler

KER.com - Full Article August 22, 2012

What's it like to train for and ride in endurance races? How can an interested rider get started in this discipline? Kelsey Kimbler, an endurance rider sponsored by Kentucky Equine Research, shared some information about her favorite sport.

When did you start riding, and how did you become involved in endurance riding?

My sister Kirsten, the oldest of us four girls, got Winnie, our first Arabian. Winnie was five years old and Kirsten was ten. She started showing at local Arabian horse shows and decided she wanted to show at the regional and national level. We started adding horses, and I began showing in walk-trot when I was eight. In 2004 I was the Canadian National Hunter Pleasure Walk-Trot Champion with my horse SR Diamond Lakota. Kirsten and my dad started endurance in 2003 after reading an article in the Arabian Horse Magazine about the Tevis Cup. That article ignited a spark that led us down this endurance path. After a few years of dividing our time between endurance and showing, we decided to focus on endurance! We love riding together as a family and spend our entire summers traveling to endurance rides.

Who are your influences in the sport?

We were very fortunate to cross paths with our family's mentor, Canadian rider Myna Cryderman, in our earliest days of endurance. She lives relatively close to us, about six hours straight north. She is still a great friend and mentor but somewhat retired from competitive endurance, choosing to go at a more leisurely pace now with her granddaughter Lyric, who is just getting started in the sport. I was also truly blessed last summer to get to train with John Crandell who won Tevis the two times I was there. I learned so much from him during that time, and I was able to ride his horse Motyf at the North American Junior Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) last year. When I applied for the World Championship, I asked if he would consider coming to groom for me and my horse Cody and was so grateful when he agreed.

What is the most exciting part of endurance competition?...

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