Camping with your horse at the end of September might not be everyone’s idea of the perfect way to spend a weekend, but Dartmoor has long held a special place in my heart, so simply hearing the words “Dartmoor Derby” immediately made me prick my ears.
With fond memories of family holidays that always seemed to involve a stop by the River Dart and more recent hunting trips on the moor with our own horses, this magical area intrigues me. For that reason there was no doubt the Dartmoor Derby was an event I wanted to learn more about so it was great to get involved in the pilot weekend.
The brainchild of Elaine Prior — founder of the Dartmoor-based riding holiday company Liberty Trails — the event was loosely inspired by Elaine’s experience of African riding safaris which she combined with visions of the Mongol Derby. Having not experienced either of these first-hand, I was able to take a fresh look at the whole concept and to enjoy it rather than making comparisons in my head.