Endurance-world.com - Full Article
30 August 2017
Name – Barry Armitage
Age – 52
From – Cape Town, South Africa
Biography of Barry Armitage.
I studied clothing design and worked in the industry before getting into the yachting world. Horses became a part of my life when I returned to South Africa after many years of living in Europe. With riding partner Joe Dawson, I made three television series retracing epic horseback journeys that shaped history. One of those television series was about our ride in the 2011 Mongol Derby and began my obsession with long distance adventure racing. I rode the Derby again in 2012 crossing the line in a first-place dead heat with Irish jump jockey Doni Fahey only to lose due to a vet penalty.
We were introduced to riding on the Wild Coast while filming our first expedition in 2010, again in 2011 during a 2,200km charity ride across South Africa and have ridden the coast extensively since. The first edition of Race the Wild Coast was held in October 2016 and won by South African Monde Kanyana. The film we shot about the race will be released in October 2017.
Notable achievements / palmares.
My most notable achievement must be winning the Mongol Derby this year. I had a great ride and was fortunate enough to be able to put pressure on the front runners on the last two days with some great horses. We were travelling very quickly, all three of us at the front of the race struggling to pass the vet checks in the heat, and I was fortunate that things went my way this time unlike 2012.
My toughest ride however was from Cape Town to Grahamstown in South Africa; 950km in six days over some pretty tough country. Joe and I were racing against the record of Sir Harry Smith’s 1835 ride which he achieved using the horseback postal system of the time. It was a brutal ride making use of a team of 36 horses. Our longest day was the last; 205km ridden with tired bodies and suffering from a lack of sleep. The tough old Englishman beat us to Grahamstown by four hours and as a result we called the resulting television show Chasing the Ghost of Harry Smith...
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