Adele Cherreson Cole & Jim Cole
“ Here we are, the Three Musketeers at Cirencester Park, coming home from our first ever endurance ride. It may have been only a 18.5km PR but it was a big achievement for both me and my husband just to get there. It seems incredible to think that only two months ago we were starting to work our two horses, Bobik and William (very carefully) after their injuries, months of box rest and our nervousness at riding them again. Rachael has helped us all get back on our feet and hooves, providing solid hacking leadership, professional support and endless positivity! It’s just great having someone you trust completely to tell you that it can be done and that you’re making progress. Even though I have been riding most of my life, I am learning from Rachael and her wonderful horses – Mel, Zar and Charlie. We now have the Endurance bug and want to go further and farther and hopefully, with Rachael’s continued influence we will achieve our ambitions. (In the meantime, we are encouraging Rachael to join us on our dressage outings!). “
In a round about way, and actually through an instructor at a London riding school, I was finally and happily led to Rachael Claridge. Although Rachael has not ridden the Mongol Derby, throughout my training, Rachael did everything to inform herself of the demands that would be made of a would be competitor. As you probably know, Rachael has an impressive record as an endurance rider herself and you can see from my article, all the different ways Rachael thought to prepare me, physically, emotionally and logistically for the race. I thought therefore to write to you such that future Mongol Derbysists who call to ask your organisation for advice should be referred to Rachael in the first instance. It would be a shame if having published this article and having one successful Derbyist under her belt, Rachael’s abilities as a Mongol Derby trainer were not more widely recognised.
Many thanks for your time and attention. Wendy Chung (Mongol Derby with the Household Calvary below right – official photos by Charles van Wyk and Richard Dunwoody)
I have learned a tremendous amount from Rachael’s excellent endurance knowledge, in addition to her obvious fabulous ability as a rider and coach, her all round knowledge of the horse is second to very few people. She has a lovely manner, and is super to be around. It is wonderful riding with her, and actually very much thanks to what I have learned and taken on board on my days with her, meant I employed tactics that saw my horse and I win Chile’s most prestigious FEI international endurance race at 120 kms 2013
Eliza – Severn Vale Riding Club & Novice Endurance Rider
Rachael’s passion for Endurance is obvious to see. After I attended a riding club Introduction to Endurance rally around 18 months ago my interest in it began and since then I have been in regular contact with Rachael who has helped me no end and I competed in my first GER earlier on this year. My horse is not the typical Arab that you normally see doing Endurance but Rachael showed me that any breed can take part and enjoy it. I cannot thank her enough for how she has assisted me in my knowledge of the sport as well as very kindly letting me come down to her yard and go on some training rides with my horse. She knows he stuff but explained it all in a straight forward,easy to understand way to someone like me who had never done any endurance before and knew very little about it. She is friendly and easy to talk to and with her ongoing help when the new season starts up I intend to enter more rides and continue to enjoy the new way of spending time with my horse I have found. And it’s a real bonus as my horse absolutely loves it. Thanks Rachael. From Eliza & Cherokee
Leah – Young & Novice Endurance Rider
Over the past few years of knowing Rachael I have gone from not knowing a thing about endurance riding, to knowing almost every last detail that needs to be known.
Rachael has helped me gain an extensive range of knowledge about endurance and what needs to be done to be successful within the sport. She has involved me in every part of what she does and has explained exceptionally well why and how she does it. I have learnt a lot from Rachael by watching her coach others as well as receiving coaching from her myself, for example I have gained nutritional and health information for both horse and rider that doesn’t just help me within the discipline of endurance but helps me within the other disciplines I partake in such as racing. I have also learnt an extensive amount about how much the horse and rider have to become a team and how important it is that this is.
Roz – Novice Endurance Rider
Heather – Open Endurance Rider
Having Rachael as a mentor has been really useful and a great boost to my own confidence. Knowing Rachael has competed successfully at all levels, means I have total respect for Rachael’s knowledge of the sport as well as her proven training methods. It also means, she is able to understand first hand, all the major or minor issues an endurance rider may experience.
Kathy – Advanced Endurance Rider
I knew nothing about Endurance riding until I met Rachael Claridge. I’d heard of her through reputation only. My first horse was a cob but it was when I progressed to an Anglo-Arab that I met Rachael who assisted me in my purchase. I’d previously only completed fun rides of 10 miles. Rachael encouraged me to join EGB & trying out a 20 mile competitive ride alongside her. I was exhausted and at one point ready to retire! Seems strange now but Rachael went much slower than she wanted and got us through to a Grade One finish. On another occasion I was riding a competitive ride with a friend when I fell off on course. My friend carried on concerned with her time but luckily a short pace behind was Rachael who encouraged her riding companion to continue whilst she stayed with me to make sure I was ok and regained any confidence lost. I’ll never forget that generous spirit. I eventually completed my self imposed goal of completing 50 miles. Thank you Rachael as I’ll always treasure the achievement & value the pleasure the sport has given to me & my horse.
Adam – Crew & Scout Leader (Duke of Edinburgh & Ten Tors)
Rachael has a unique passion for a sport which involves getting up early at the weekend, going out training or competing in all weathers. However together over the years we have discovered amazing locations, experienced great challenges, pulled together as a team, had a laugh along the way and always learnt from our adventures. The key to our teams success is having fresh coffee at the start of the day with a bacon roll followed by numerous unhealthy snacks to assist with the map reading and driving between crew points. The day’s normally rounded off by a glass of wine and a crisp or a pint in the local pub to celebrate or commiserate whatever the outcome!