Thursday, June 15, 2023

Horseback trail team prepares for last long-haul ride in NZ’s back country

Black Saddle/Alpine Horse Safaris photo - Full Article

June 15, 2023
Emma Barron

When Jenny and Lawrie O’Carroll bought Waitohi Downs just outside of Christchurch in 1981 they started to breed their Clydesdale Thoroughbred-cross horses and in 1992 the husband and wife team began offering Kiwis and foreign adventurers alike the opportunity to join expeditions through the high country of the Southern Alps.

You’ve got to be made of hard stuff to commit to such an undertaking. Many would balk at the idea of traversing snowy mountain ridgelines and fording swollen rivers, all while managing a herd of up to 18 horses and enough food, water, gas, tents, sleeping bags, loaded swags, and emergency supplies to keep 10 riders safe, dry and happy.

But manage they have, drawing on an old-school sense of adventure, a tough can-do attitude, classic Kiwi No.8 wire practicality and a lifetime of working on stations and raising horses. The 1012-hectare Waitohi Downs was Lawrie’s childhood home...

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