Halliday woman finishes in top 10 of world-class endurance event
HALLIDAY, N.D. - Dante LaPierre has lived all over the world.
She grew up in South Africa, trained horses in England and Dubai and competed around the world.
Now she calls Halliday, N.D., home.
Wherever she’s lived, horses have always been a big part of her life.
That’s no different now. In fact, she and her horse, Dennie, just competed in one of the most elite endurance races in the world.
Dennie and Zeus are Dante LaPierre’s pride and joy.
“I grew up riding,” she said.
She entered her first 100-mile race at just nine years old.
“I was very young,” LaPierre recalled.
Last month, she competed in the Tevis Cup Race.
“It’s the most difficult 100 miler in the world,” she explained.
The 100-mile race goes through some of California’s roughest terrain.
“It is rocks and it is hot,” LaPierre said.
Hills and canyons are so steep in parts, riders must walk their horses. LaPierre first entered in the Tevis Cup in 2019.
“Tevis is like the top of the top, it’s like the granddaddy of all endurance rides,” she said.
LaPierre only made it 85 miles. Her goal in 2021 was to finish all 100 miles.
“I told my husband I’m not doing anything on the farm besides getting my horses ready,” she recalled with a laugh.
Her preparation paid off: she and Dennie finished in 8th place.
“I was praying the whole way because there’s so many rocks and so many hills,” she recalled. “It’s the most difficult 100 mile race in the world and a lot of people take a lot of attempts to try and finish it. I felt that luck was on our side and everything went as planned.”
She’s already planning for next year’s race.
“I know exactly where I can make up time and do better.”
But for now, they’ll take a little time off. LaPierre, Dennie and Zeus will enjoy these last days of summer here on the North Dakota prairie.
LaPierre trained both Dennie and Zeus for the Tevis Cup.
If Dennie wasn’t able to finish the race, she would have switched and ridden Zeus. Instead, her friend rode Zeus; they finished in 23rd place.
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