There is a strong bond between Grace Logie and her horse Ladigo.
“I couldn’t ask for a better best friend and horse,” said Logie.
That connection has led to success in endurance riding and a chance to qualify for the Young Rider World Championships in Italy in 2019.
“I feel very honoured to be able to compete on an international level,” said Logie. “Competing at this level feels like such an accomplishment when my horse and I cross that finish line and make it through the final vet check. Competing at the world-level rides, with world-level standards is so amazing. Every time I hear that Ladigo and I made it through the final vet check it takes my breath away. I’m amazed at how far we have made it.”
READ MORE: Pair passing endurance test
For the pair to qualify for Italy, Logie needs to complete five 120-kilometre rides and one of them being a Certificate of Completion (COC), meaning she must finish within a certain time frame, and Ladigo needs three 120-km rides with one of them being a COC with Logie. Endurance riding is about conditioning and the rider knowing their horse.
“My friendship and bond has grown with every mile we complete. We trust each other more, and though it must sound weird, I trust his judgement more than most people’s,” said Logie, who started competing in the sport four years ago. “He takes such good care of me, and teaches me more lessons than school ever will. Ladigo has taught me patience, kindness and love in the past few years. I’m privileged to be able to call him my best friend.”
The pair competed in the Canadian Endurance Championships in Brandon, Man., on Aug. 27 and took second, while the Young Rider team won gold.
Logie said that experience was amazing and she was proud of Ladigo. It was the first time the two raced on their own as their usual riding mates were unable to go. They completed approximately 100-km on their own, then were accompanied by what Logie described as “amazing people” for a period.
“I couldn’t believe the support we had,” she said. “Every time Ladigo and I left the vet check to head out again we had so many people from across Canada cheering us on. It was such an amazing feeling to have that support from people I barely knew. But that’s endurance.”
Logie said people come together as a big family, young and old, from anywhere, and help each other out. It was an amazing experience for Logie to see world-level riders and learn from talking to them.
“Canadian championships was an experience of a lifetime that I’ll never forget,” she said.
To get to the Canadian Endurance Championships, the pair had to complete two 40-km race and two 80-km races. The 40-km distances were in Salmon Arm in August 2015 and in East Kelowna in early 2016. The 80-km distances were in Cache Creek and Chase Creek in early 2016. Those events helped qualify them for their first 80-km Federation Equestrian International ride, which they did at the Timber Ridge Ride in Lumby.
In Fort St. John for the Titanium Ride 120-km competition on July 31, the pair won as a young rider and placed third overall. Part of the success for Logie and Ladigo comes from what they have overcome, including Ladigo’s fear that water will eat him if he goes within 10 feet of it, and she has learned to have patience. Logie said it is about trust, companionship and love with horses.
“I wouldn’t trade Ladigo for anything in the world because of the bond we have created,” said Logie, who started riding four years ago when she was offered the opportunity to exercise a horse and do trail rides.
In 2013, Logie became a junior national champion.