Posted on Monday, May 23rd, 2011
Mary Alice Brown, winner of the GMHA’s annual event raffle, took off for Tuscany over the weekend. As one of the longest competing eventers in the USA, Mary Alice has been riding since the age of 18. Despite a painful knee surgery in 2008, she is still competing in jumping competitions and training with Traveler, her four year old Oldenburg. A traveler herself, Mary has been horseback riding in Ireland, England, Africa, and Scotland. She has covered a lot of territory over the past 54 years, and this week, joins good friend Sarah Stableford on Equitours Feast of the Conquerors Ride.A horse enthusiast through and through, sixty three year old Sarah Stableford views this equestrian vacation as an opportunity to explore. When Mary Alice called with the winning ticket in hand, Sarah says she was “stunned speechless” at the prospect of horseback riding in Italy. Having never been outside of the country, she looks forward to the physical and emotional experience of discovering a different culture. The following is an excerpt from our ride information packet:
“Tuscany, the Cradle of the Renaissance, is a region rich in art, history, architecture, fine cuisine, and natural beauty. It is located on the northwest side of Italy, between Milan and Rome. The hill towns of Tuscany are prized for their essential grandeur while other towns have medieval roots stemming from the time of the Etruscan settlers. Hilltop towns, ancient olive groves and vineyards create the scenery for this ride. In this land of legendary pilgrimage and simple peasant life, the ‘Dolce Vita’ comes alive as you ride through the picturesque Tuscan countryside.”
While I am familiar with the ride, and with our clients’ reviews, I am always curious about each rider’s journey, especially dedicated riders and eventers like Sarah and Mary Alice. These two have been friends for “a decade or two,” and share a similar love for horses and enthusiasm for life’s adventures. I can’t wait to hear the stories upon their return home. Until then, Bon Voyage!