Meet Our Rider: Kasmira Graham (New Zealand)
Your name, country of residence, and age?
Kaz Graham, NZ, 30.
How long have you been riding horses for?
Since I was 12.
How many horses do you own?
None at the moment. I had to give up horses when I joined the Navy 6 years ago.
What are your main motivations for entering The Gobi Desert Cup?
My best friend signed up for it and then I decided it would be an amazing adventure to do together. I also like the idea of the challenge and to see how far I can push myself.
What have been your major highlights/achievements in endurance riding/equestrian sports?
I rode mainly eventing but wasn’t hugely competitive. Probably my biggest achievement was buying a crazy pony and working through all his problems over 7 years to turn him into an awesome showjumper.
What are your long-term goals in the sport?
At the moment I have no intention of getting another horse until I have finished my studies which will be a few years yet. But eventually, I would like to get a wild kaimanawa from the muster to bring on.
What do you fear the most about the race?
My body holding up and also the food as I am a vegetarian.
List your current personal best in equestrian sports - other sports?
Other sports I play are hockey and squash. I also enjoy getting out on the road bike and mountain bike when I can.
What do you feel are your main strengths for The Gobi Desert Cup?
After being in the military and being in some pretty difficult and physically demanding situations I think I have a good mental toughness that will get me through, even if my body doesn’t want to.
What areas do you feel that you need improvement in before the race?
Getting my muscles used to more riding and getting myself fitter.
Do you currently do any other kind of training besides riding horses? If yes, provide details.
I walk my dogs every morning and also try and get out on the bike a couple of times a week for 20-30km rides.
How much are you riding in preparation for the race, what is your training plan?
At the moment I’m riding a couple of friend’s horses (one who is also doing the race) at least 6 times per week. We try do 20-25km a couple of times a week but are starting to aim for longer rides now the horses are getting fitter.
Why do you think people need to sign up to ride The Gobi Desert Cup with you this year?
Because it is an adventure of a lifetime that you just can’t pass up!
Finally, what would be a successful ride for you?
Getting through all vet checks, crossing the line with a happy, healthy horse each day and not breaking some part of my body!
By Heather Wallace