All smiles after first 40km ride

Taylor Grogan after her first 40km horse ride. (ABC Sunshine Coast: Kylie Bartholomew)

All smiles after first 40km ride

'I like riding horses really, really badly': Next generation of endurance royalty all smiles after first 40km ride

Posted on 03.09.2018

A tiny five-year-old from Queensland who stands just over a metre tall has braved darkness, the cold and rain to complete her first 40-kilometre horse ride in less than five hours.

Taylor Grogan, a fourth-generation endurance rider from the Sunshine Coast’s renowned Sample family, rode into the diverse terrain of the Mary Valley’s Imbil State Forest in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Dad Mark Grogan thought his daughter might be deterred by the conditions.

“I thought she’d pull the pin with the wet, especially when we had to go out and it was already raining before she got up.”

But a determined Taylor — who completed her first 5km ride a month before her second birthday — would hear nothing of the sort.

“I like riding horses really, really badly.

“It was hard because it was really slippery.

“We had to walk the slippery bits,” she said grinning from ear to ear.

Mr Grogan said endurance riding was difficult in ideal conditions, but the cold and rain required another level of tenacity.

(Kylie Bartholomew)

Mr Grogan said endurance riding was difficult in ideal conditions, but the cold and rain required another level of tenacity.

“It’s really tough on you because you know you’re out there for a long time, I think we did it in about five hours.

“You get very cold and wet and legs rub, so it’s not pleasant and it’s certainly not the most enjoyable ride.

“But she’s generally quite bubbly out there.”

Mr Grogan said when out in the forest, Taylor was in full control of the horse but was tethered to him as a precaution.

“She has a bridle with the reins that she controls the horse to steer it and I ride with a lead rope in my other hand that’s on a halter under it.

“I give it slack the whole time and if the horse decides to bolt we’ve got the other end of it.”

To prepare for the event, Taylor and Dee Dee rode 20 to 25km, twice a week.

Each ride would take three to four hours.

Mr Grogan said he was amazed at how his daughter persevered despite the conditions and a sometimes difficult 14-year-old pony Dee Dee, who also completed her first 40km ride.

“Her horse isn’t the best behaved horse and it gives her a pretty hard time but there’s never any tears.

“She puts up with it and loves it.”


The five-year-old has her sights set on another 40km ride in a few weeks and one day hopes to be a professional rider.

Dad Mark Grogan said given her genes, there’s every possibility that could happen.

“We’ve got our own horses and she’s around them all the time and she’d see us going out riding while she’d be left with grandparents to babysit and she wanted in on it.

“I’d be very surprised if she doesn’t find her whole life surrounded with horses.”

ABC News




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