It takes a good horse, two fit humans and a great deal of strategy to compete in Ride & Tie. The goal of the sport is to get all three team members across a long distance cross-country course by alternating riding and running. Not a problem for 9-year-old Madison Trocha.
In Ride & Tie races, all competitors leave the starting line together. The rider, being faster, rides ahead and ties the horse to a tree, and then continues down the trail on foot. The team member who started out on foot gets to the horse, unties, mounts up and rides past the runner, ties the horse … and this leapfrog continues the entire course. The strategy for developing when, where and how a team exchanges riding for running is almost entirely up to each team.
Madison Trocha wasn’t the only record-breaker during this year’s event. San Diego, Calif., woman Rufus Schneider became the second woman ever to win the Ride & Tie World Championship since the sport’s inception in 1971. Schneider partnered with a horse named Koona, and ultra runner Tom Johnson for the win.
For more information on the sport, visit www.rideandtie.org.