As someone who has some modest experience with riding horses, I can appreciate the allure of those equestrians competing in the an endurance horse race called the Gallops. In 2014, the first Gallops challenge took place in Oman. This one in Morocco is a six-day race. Riding teams must cover roughly 18 miles a day as they traverse mountains and deserts in southern Morocco.
As if that does not sound sufficiently exciting, the riders must ride stallions of the Barb breed of North Africa originally used as warhorses. And the riders meet their steeds when they start the race so they must build rapport while keeping control of their sturdy horses.
I can imagine the thrill of riding a horse at a gallop across a desert. In the article below, one competitor said that part of the pleasure of participating in the Gallops was the chance to ride open land without roads or fences.
Anyone who’s read my fiction can detect my appreciation of horses and horse riding. It’s part of the appeal of writing in fantasy genres.
Excerpt from Union of Renegades
The hooves of Starfield, the dappled gray warhorse that Dreibrand rode, plunged first into the flowing water. Dreibrand liked being first. The splashing of hundreds of riders and the snorting of displeased horses warned the Bostas lining the opposite bank that the crossing began.
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Morocco desert stallion race pushes limits of endurance
Battling gusts of sandy wind, riders from across the world struggled to control feisty stallions as they raced in the first Gallops of Morocco, a desert endurance challenge. In a country with an ancient history of horsemanship, the event in the wilderness of Merzouga was the first of its kind — a six-day test of stamina, navigation and teamwork.