International competition among horse people offers entrants a glimpse of how folks in foreign lands ply their trade. While their trade is your trade—the differences in the horses, the racing rules, the venues, and the people themselves—all add up to an exhilarating opportunity to broaden one’s mind as well as travel miles.
Over on her blog, Kimberly Rinker shares her experience of the international harness racing scene.
From the post:
"Having been stung by the wanderlust bug at a very early age, I never hesitate to travel overseas. My first experience abroad was in 1983, when I worked on a farm in Switzerland. Since then, I’ve traveled abroad frequently—always visiting the local racetracks or training facilities.
Thanks to the good graces of Stan Bergstein, I procured VIP treatment at Sydney’s Harold Park paceway in Australia in 1992, where I met local drivers and trainers. They invited me to observe their training methods, and I spent a day at an ocean-side facility, where we jogged horses on footing similar to our thoroughbred surfaces, after which we swam the horses in the ocean.
In 1995, I represented the USA in the International Drivers Championship in Moscow, Russia. As the only female, I was pitted against 15 male rivals from all over Europe and New Zealand. Canadian Daniel Dube—now a regular at The Meadowlands–was there to defend his title, having won the previous year."