Monthly Archives: September 2015

‘What a way to explore Dartmoor’ – Lucy Wiegersma’s blog

By |2019-09-27T11:32:39+00:00September 28th, 2015|

British team event rider and Dartmoor Derby Ambassador Lucy Wiegersma finally gets to explore the moor she sees from home each day.. in some style I work in my outdoor school for around six hours a day, and we have a view across the valley to the north west of Dartmoor. We watch the seasons changing and I am fascinated by it, but I never really have had the chance to explore it. I grew up in Cornwall, and did not spend my holidays roaming this region as a child. So I was thrilled to be asked if I would be an Ambassador for the Dartmoor Derby, and take part in the Pilot Event. Here finally was a first chance to take on Dartmoor with abandon — lthough I was quite sure it would be rainy and foggy when I did! Pony Club camp — but rather more swanky Our overnight in the specially built 'glamp-site' was great. It took me right back to Pony Club camp days, albeit considerably smarter! No stone barns here but ornate swanky yurts, complete with lamps, flowers, mattresses, duvets and chocolate on our pillows. But I still had my crash hat by my bed and reverted to that old childhood trick of warming up my breeches under the duvet before climbing into them. After a hot breakfast in our lovely riverside 'dining yurt' we were off for our day's ride. The others in my group were really nice, from all walks of like and very easy to talk to, with a common interest in riding and exploring the countryside. It was amazing being out on the moors beneath such vivid blue skies. We crossed the terrain at a faster [...]

‘If Carlsberg did riding holidays…’ – Sara Cox’s blog

By |2019-09-27T10:53:51+00:00September 26th, 2015|

How did BBC Two Radio Presenter and DJ  Sara Cox get on covering 25 miles of diverse moorland terrain on the first day of the 2015 Dartmoor Derby pilot event? Here she gives her account When I signed up to ride the Dartmoor Derby pilot event, I suppose I was hoping to regress to being 15 again, out on my pony all day on sandy lanes and stopping at the chip shop for lunch — but with better scenery! I hadn't predicted how spectacular Dartmoor would be. The views and scenery are incredible and we haven't seen any road or sign of life for mile after mile. Apart from Dartmoor ponies scattering in front of you, and occasional herds of Galloway or Highland cattle, or the odd roe deer, it's just you and your horse; you really feel you can breathe better up on the moors. Why Tetley's just my cup of tea I've ridden a variety of horses over the years, from my farm pony when I was a teenager, to racehorses — I have twice ridden in the ladies charity race at Goodwood, the Magnolia Cup. But I am now officially in love with Tetley. Our group's horses, fit local hunters, arrived for us. Then off the lorry came this huge, gorgeous piebald hunk, Tetley — and he was for me... His name — apparently given because he was born at teatime — was a good sign because I do like a good cup of tea! I'm quite long-legged so I feel a bit odd on some smaller horses, but Tetley was a big old unit, and felt like an armchair. He's very sweet natured, but he's also a machine. On this sort [...]

It’s time for the vision to become a reality… by Elaine Prior, Founder of Liberty Trails

By |2019-09-27T10:54:47+00:00September 25th, 2015|

Our camp is constructed, the horses are gleaming, the champagne is on ice and even the weather is behaving... Finally, we are on the brink of starting the Dartmoor Derby Pilot Event. It feels a little surreal finally to have reached this stage. I began formulating the idea for a Dartmoor Derby in the summer of 2014. Having ridden many miles across Dartmoor in recent years accompanying guests from around the world to my established adventure riding business Liberty Trails, it often struck me how certain places on the moor would lend themselves brilliantly to hosting a luxury camp. With undulating, unspoilt vistas, and total peace - apart from the occasional contribution from resident wildlife - there is much in common with African bush camps that riders have loved for years. Dartmoor is such an amazing place to ride, yet very few people have the opportunity to explore it comprehensively because of the logistical support required to do so. Widespread support I began sharing my vision for a Dartmoor Derby - loosely inspired by the African riding safari format, and the success of the more rough and tumble Mongol Derby - to Liberty Trails clients. The idea received an emphatically positive response from everyone. The time had come to do something about it! The next step was to speak to Dartmoor National Park, Uk Trade and Industry, the Duchy of Cornwall and other stakeholders, and I am very grateful for the immense support they, and other organisations, have given. From the outset the idea was to create an event that celebrated the region, involved local suppliers, businesses, hotels and farmers, but had no negative environmental impact. In an in-depth feasibility study, we spoke with [...]