Horse & Hound editor Lucy Higginson is one of five equestrian magazine editors who will be taking up the Golden Horseshoe Challenge next week.
The editors have been invited by ride organiser Barbara Wigley, who has set up a special class for them on Tuesday 18 May, the final day of the three-day endurance competition in Exmoor.
“We have organised a ride over 25 miles of the 100-mile course,” she said.
“Owners have kindly loaned us horses that are fit and ready to go and each editor will be accompanied by a rider who is eligible for selection for the World Championships this year — and where they can, they will crack on at Gold speed of 7.5 miles an hour.”
Lucy said: “Having visited the Golden Horseshoe ride before I know what a sensational, stunning and historic distance ride it is — an icon of rural Britain in fact.
“I’m hugely looking forward to experiencing a section of the ride at a true endurance ‘race pace’, and trying not to get massively competitive about it.
“I’ve done enough hunting this winter to know that I’m up to 25 miles at a brisk pace, but my downfall may be the ‘turnout and handling’ judging at the initial vettings. I’ve yet to master ‘endurance chic’ and will probably end up looking like a well muffled eventer. Still I’ll be doing my best to keep the Horse & Hound name firmly in front!”
Lisa Reich, acting editor of H&H’s sister title Horse magazine will also be riding.
“I’m so excited, but I’m a little nervous, too,” said Lisa.
“As well as riding, obviously, I’ve been spending several hours in a Bikram yoga studio in a bid to get my leg muscles as flexible as possible. The last time I did an endurance ride, I cried the next day and begged my boyfriend to get me a bed pan because I was in too much pain to get up. He said he didn’t love me that much. Ask me again the day after.”
Lucy and Lisa will be joined by Nicky Moffatt from Horse and Rider, Julie Brown from Your Horse and Fiona Price from the Horse Hero website.
“We are not asking anything in return,” added Barbara. “We just want the journalists to see at first hand what the Golden Horseshoe is all about and just how tough Exmoor can be.”