The Ride team are passionate about exploring the lost art of journeying long distance on horseback, challenging people’s perceptions of what is possible with a horse in the landscapes of the modern era.
Barry Armitage returned to South Africa after almost 15 years wandering the globe as a professional sailor, infected with an unquenchable wanderlust and appetite for adventure. Passionate about both horses and South African history, Barry created the concept of The Ride: a reality television series that retraced epic horseback journeys that shaped history. Barry partnered with his brother-in-law Joe Dawson on these incredible adventures; the first of their three television series aired in South Africa on SABC3 in 2011 and have gone on to air in over 20 countries worldwide.
Their first series,The Ride of the Peacemaker, retraced Dick Kings heroic 10 day, 950km ride from Durban to Grahamstown. Their second, Race Across the Steppe, documented their participation in the 2011 Mongol Derby, which at 1000km is the world’s longest horse race and a recreation of man of the millennium Chingiss Kahn’s horseback messenger system from the 13C. Their last show pitted them against Harry Smith’s incredible1835 ride from Cape Town to Grahamstown using the British messenger system of the time to ride 950km in just 6 days.
Five years later after many thousands of kilometres journeying on horseback, including their 2200km charity ride across South Africa, Into the Unknown, Barry and Joe have developed the skills, equipment and experience that allow The Ride to deliver some of the longest, toughest horseback expeditions on the planet in terrains as diverse as the Wild Coast, Tankwa-Karoo and Cape of Storms. You can join them at www.theride.co.za
Equi-Feeds has been along for The Ride since the very beginning, providing the much needed fuel to get the hard working horses through long days (and sometimes nights) of exertion typical of The Ride expeditions.
The Ride uses Equi-Feeds Cool Feed 10% in preparation for an expedition and if horses are in light work. Once the expedition proper begins Equi-Feeds Enduro Feed 12% has the perfect slow release energy for the performance required of truly epic long riding.
Restless, curious and daring, Barry is always looking to push the limits of what is possible and the endeavours of The Ride express this in every way. Barry’s life between adventures consists of constant reading, historical research and route planning, and a rigorous fitness regime including boxing, cycling and riding that set the tone for the demanding nature of these horseback expeditions.
Conservationist, horseman, adventurer, Joe Dawson, is a vital link in the magical chain that is The Ride team. Initially circumspect about Barry’s hare-brained adventure schemes, Joe was won over by the sheer compelling romance of frantic horseback adventures across the wilds of South Africa and beyond. Cool in a crisis, charming and witty, if a little grumpy with it, Joe is the other half the relationship that’s at the heart of The Ride.
A solid partnership has developed over years of working together, often in demanding circumstances, resulting in a mutual bond of reliance critical on their challenging journeys. Joe’s measured approach to life provides the perfect foil to Barry’s impulsiveness on their intense adventures.