Dynamic duo races through endurance rides

Dynamic duo races through endurance rides

Dec 01, 2011

Napa Valley, Calif. — By the time she was 6 years old, Dr. Lindsay Graham already had her sights set on being a veterinarian.

Endurance: Dr. Lindsay Graham has displayed the trait in more ways than one.
Now, the 2010 University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine graduate spends her days at the Napa Valley Veterinary Hospital, where horses are her specialty, or out in the field, visiting her four-legged patients.

"I grew up with horses," Graham says while driving home from work. "My mom sat me on a horse as a baby, and I started taking lessons when I was five. I have always been around horses."

And despite her busy schedule, Graham still found time to shatter the North American record for 100-mile endurance horse riding this past July at the Patriot's Day Endurance Rides at Lake Almanor with a time of six hours and 53 minutes.

"I didn't know what the record was," she says. "I never looked it up, and it never crossed my mind. Someone said to me at the end of the ride, 'I think you may have broken the world record.' I was busy with my horse, so I wasn't really paying attention."

While the world record still stands, Graham did break the previous North American record by at least 30 minutes. The second place finisher was only one minute behind her.

"The race became so fast because we just kept going faster and faster, and both horses were happy to go that speed," she says. "We just finished that quick. I knew we were going fast, but I had no idea."

The other half of the winning team is Monk, a 9-year-old Arabian, owned by Chris Martin of Penn Valley, Calif.

"As a youngster he had a very good work ethic and you could never get him tired," Martin says. "He just wanted to go and go."

Martin takes care of most of Monk's training, Graham says. "The horse gets a 20-mile hard workout every 10 days and then stretches in between," she adds. "Otherwise he's just running around being a horse."

A friend recommended Graham to Martin.

"I met Lindsay's mom, Susie, many years ago at an endurance ride. She had a very famous horse named Phoenix Affair," Martin says. "I knew of Lindsay by following Phoenix's career, but had never officially met her."

Martin says Graham's concern for Monk's well-being is overwhelming and comforting.

"Lindsay was always there when I needed her, and she loves my horse. She is competitive but kept our goal in focus and rode Monk well within his limits."