Meet Our Rider: Cynthia Peticolas (USA)

Cynthia Peticolas is no stranger to endurance riding and adventure. She’s ridden endurance since 1991, ridden the 2,000 mile Pony Express route across the USA, and traveled by motorcycle through 7 countries. Now, she’s turning her hand to racing The Gobi Desert Cup this August.


Name: Cynthia Peticolas

Age: 62

Country of Residence: USA

How long have you been riding horses?: Since 6th grade. I have owned a horse since then except for my 8 years in dental school. The first purchase made after graduating from dental school was not dental supplies, but a horse, a truck and a trailer. Have been doing endurance riding since 1991. I have ridden in endurance 35 different horses- several I rode for the first time at an endurance ride! I have 13,015 endurance miles (50 miles or longer) and 13700 total miles in all rides. I enjoy riding multidays- and in 2015 I rode the XP ride which followed the old trail of the Pony Express. It was 2000 miles over 2 month period- the truck and trailer followed me.


Do you own horses? Tell us about them!: I own 12 horses- three arabians, 5 mules, 1 missouri fox trotter, 1 mustang, a quarter horse. I enjoy something special about each one- and all ride in endurance. I tried doing Gymnkana when I moved to Kansas but after having my horse run me into the panels and breaking my elbow into multiple pieces, I decided I might as well stick with endurance. I just have to drive alittle further as most of my endurance was on the west coast. I am the happiest when on a horse- my partner tells me to go ride my horse when I have a bad attitude. But over all I am a happy and positive person.

Why are you competing in the Gobi Desert Cup? : I love adventures. I love to travel. I love to explore other cultures. I And most of all I love to ride horses day after day after day.
People I have told about the Gobi Desert Cup say this is what I am all about.....adventures, horses and new cultures!

What is your equestrian discipline? How do you feel that will help you with horsemanship in Mongolia?: I am accustom to different horses and mules. I know how to rate my horse, to listen to my horse. I know what it takes to go 50 miles- and I have mental toughness. I am a group player- I have little modesty- I can eat anything- I am easy to get along with.
I have done mostly endurance rides in my lifetime so I know what it takes to ride new horses and long distances.

What are your long-term goals in the sport? : I hope to be riding endurance until I can no longer walk.

What do you feel are your main strengths in competing for the Gobi Desert Cup? : I am competative in nature, but I with horses I am conservative.. I like to complete all my endurance rides. I like to have a strong horse ready for the next day. I will do what it takes to get my horse through 50 miles fit and sound.

What do you fear most about the race? : Having an ill mannered horse that could buck me off.

What are you looking forward to most in Mongolia? : Learning a new culture, experiencing new horses, new foods, and most of all riding day after day after day.

What do you need to improve before the race? : My fitness- I need to start to run again so I can get off and help my horse if necessary. I want to do some heat training (easy to do in Kansas) and practice with some various backpacks to see which I like the most.

What is your training plan? : 1. Research horses of Mongolia
2. Research culture in Mongolia
3. Ride some hot endurance rides after doing some training rides in the heat of the day.  
4. Experiment with various bladders/ backpacks/ electrolytes for people.
5. Run to get my fitness up to par
6. Ride a few multiday endurance rides to be certain I am fit for horseback riding
7. And most important for me- ride every weekend and put the miles under my belt.

Why should others sign up for the Gobi Desert Cup?: Fun - Adventure- Horses- Different cultures.

What would you consider a successful ride? : A completion with a sound and happy horse. One that could go on the next day if needed.

Do you have anything else you'd like us to know about you?: I am not modest in the least. I don't need special bathrooms/ showers.
I have traveled to the following countries riding my own motorcycle with a group: Texas to Panama. I believe that was 7 countries. Brazil, Argentina, Uragay, Morocco, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland I lived in France for a year.
I completely enjoy learning about different countries and meeting the people!. I am flexible and pretty much happy most of the time.

Well, we can’t wait to show you Mongolia and bring some of your positive energy to the race! Welcome to the adventure, Cynthia.

By Heather Wallace

Camille Champagne