Kitesurfer vs polo pony
At 2.30pm on Saturday 18th May, Dreya Bennett – champion Gladiator and Veuve Clicquot world record breaking kitesurfer – took on Andy Burgess of South West Polo and his polo pony, Shrivar, in a kite vs horse challenge along the shoreline at Watergate Bay.
At the start the wind speed was low and the direction was wrong as Dreya headed out to sea on her kite. They raced a 200m course cheered on by over 3,000 spectators, Andy and Shrivar along the beach and Dreya tackled the surf as she came into the shore. Horse power proved victorious on this occasion as Andy dismounted and was first to run up the polo pitch to the Veuve Clicquot champagne buried in the sand.
Would it have been a different result if Dreya had the wind behind her?
Andy Burgess was riding ex race horse, Shrivar, who has now been retrained to play polo and whilst he can reach speeds of 40mph on a race course, kite surfers can reach speeds of up to 60mph when the wind is right.
Dreya is very familiar with kitesurf challenges and normally wouldn’t have been daunted by the 200m course especially after her 132 mile Guinness World Record where she kitesurfed non stop between Watergate Bay and Dungarven in Ireland, but she needed a good westerly onshore wind to get her kite up to top speed and to stand a chance against Andy and his polo pony.