It'll be the challenge of her life: after racing in Mongolia, Clare King's tackling the Patagonian Andes for a children's cancer charity
Now Clare King is saddling up for the ride of a lifetime across the remote Patagonian Andes in South America.She normally rides out for her husband, the successful jump racing trainer Neil King on the northern edge of the Marlborough downs - where it's windy, but it's a gentle landscape.
From March 5-14, Clare King is taking part in the first-ever Gaucho Derby and is hoping to raise £10,000 for Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) in the process.
The multi-horse endurance race is the brainchild of UK-based adventure gurus The Adventurists and its gruelling course will cover 500km of beautiful yet very challenging terrain.
What’s more, in addition to riding and hiking for 13 and a half hours a day - swapping horses every 50km - riders will have to fend for themselves throughout.
: “In 2013, I came third in the Mongol Derby, the longest and toughest horserace in the world."Forty-one year old Clare, who is originally from County Down, is no stranger to endurance horseback racing, this latest adventure represents a completely new challenge
"It was undoubtedly the hardest thing I have ever done, mentally and physically, and I said, ‘Never ever again, I’m settling down’. So, against my better judgment, I committed to the ‘pioneers running’ of the Gaucho Derby and, as this is the first-ever running of the race, no one knows quite what will happen."
“I’m very nervous, not so much about the riding but the survival skills needed to camp out in a harsh environment and the navigation – I have very little experience of either!"
“But it’s really uncharted territory in an amazing part of the world, with the chance to live like a real Gaucho and experience great horses and scenery, so I’m looking forward to it, too!”
In between busily balancing a full-time job, being a mother of two and riding racehorses for Neil King, Clare is also training and learning a host of survival and mountain craft skills: “I also need to know how to shoe a horse and learning to speak a bit of Spanish will probably be helpful, too!”
Clare is supporting Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) having seen the heartache that childhood cancer can cause families: “I am raising money for CCLG to support children and parents that I know who are enduring the worst kind of journey, and certainly tougher than any kind of sporting challenge."
“I have set a huge target, but I am determined to get there for an extremely worthwhile cause."
“As well as funding research and supporting parents, CCLG is a central point of sharing best practice and treatments. To use a horrible phrase 'joined-up thinking’ is so important where there is so much good research and know-how happening in different places.”
You can donate to Clare's fundraising here - and wish her well on this adventurous challenge. There is more information about the CCLG on their website. And you can find Clare’s charity Facebook page here.