Eye of the Tiger

Senior races towards future career path

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Senior races towards future career path

(NICOLE KHUDYAKOV / EYE OF THE TIGER)

(NICOLE KHUDYAKOV / EYE OF THE TIGER)

(NICOLE KHUDYAKOV / EYE OF THE TIGER)

JONAH LUCIA

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Senior Riley Morefield has spent about as much time with the clip-clop of horse hooves as she has hanging out with her friends. According to Morefield, equine endurance riding has been a passion of hers since fourth grade and has had a very positive impact on her life. Since starting, Morefield’s confidence in herself as a rider has grown exponentially, to the point that she hopes to one day turn her horse racing into her career.

“I’ve improved from basically riding in an arena and doing little jumps to now I’m out on a trail riding with a bunch of people out in the middle of nowhere with no cell service,” Morefield said, “With just me, my trainer, and my horse that can be a little nerve-wracking, but it’s definitely better.”

Morefield enjoys the unpredictability of her hobby and the chance she gets to bond with her animal partner, whenever the two ride together.

“It’s just exciting,” Morefield said. “Instead of having a team, it’s a team with an animal and it’s different because you can’t read it, and you’re out on a trail and random things happen that you can’t account for, so you just have to be on your feet the whole time.”

(COURTESY/ RILEY MOREFIELD)
Senior Riley Morefield has been dedicated to her hobby of horseback riding since she began as a fourth grader. Morefield hopes to create a carrer out of her hobby.

Morefield recently participated in a one hundred mile horse race that can last up to twenty four hours.

In her first race, Morefield rode for twenty three hours and five minutes with only two hour stop times; one at fifty miles, and one at seventy five miles.

Though she had prior experience racing horses, this race was a new experience for her, as well as her parents.

Morefield’s father, Bart Morefield, was able to witness his daughter in action and fully comprehend the training she went through as he was watching the race.

“I didn’t have much knowledge about [the race], so watching it in action gave me a much greater appreciation for what they went through, how they had to stay awake, feed them and run, [and] watching people help them,” Bart said. “My opinion afterward is that it’s very tough, and I’m very proud of her for what she did; riding in the night on a horse. It’s pretty impressive.”

Part of the Riley’s training process involves managing and taking care of her horse top make sure it’s healthy.

According to Riley, preparing for these endurance races also requires a lot of work and prior care — especially on the day of the race.

“[We left] at 7 a.m. to go to Nevada, and then you have a vet check,” Riler said. “The vet has to check [your horse] out and make sure its vitals are okay, the feet and everything, heart rate, and if you don’t pass the vet check, you don’t do the race.”

Her mother, Joy Morefield, is impressed with the work ethic her daughter shows in pursuing such a demanding sport.

“I think endurance racing can be considered an extreme sport based on the hours you have to be awake and alert,” Joy said. “There is a ton of prep work, then the riding in what can be very challenging trails and keeping you and your horse healthy throughout the race.”

Her dad also acknowledges the amount of effort his daughter puts into the thing she loves.

“She was up by 3:30 in the morning on [race days]. They had to prepare their saddles and prepare the horses. The ride starts at five in the morning, so they we’re up at 3:30,” Bart said.

About the Writer
JONAH LUCIA, REPORTER

I'm Jonah, a senior at RHS. I'm a reporter for Eye of the Tiger News, which means I interview for stories, record voice over, etc. I've been in media twice...

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