Jess Haynsworth and Vigri frá Vallanesi. Photo: Nick Goldsmith

Jess Haynsworth of Warren completed Green Mountain Horse Association's 87th annual 100-mile ride for the second time, aboard Vigri frá Vallanesi, a 15-year-old Icelandic gelding.



The Green Mountain Horse Association ride in Woodstock, Vermont, is the oldest 100-mile competitive ride in the U.S., and was the first 100-mile competitive ride open to non-cavalry members. In 2021, Vigri became the first Icelandic horse to successfully complete this ride. He has now done it twice, this time finishing second in the Lightweight Division with excellent vet scores and the judge’s comment: “Little engine that could.”

The famous Competitive Trail Ride (CTR) almost didn’t happen this year, as GMHA flooded twice within two weeks during this summer’s heavy rainfall. Dedicated volunteers pushed to clean up the trails to make it happen, and the historic trail was altered slightly to avoid dangerous washout and flood damage. The ride spanned three days, 40 miles on the first two days, and a “Fast 20” on the final day. Horses were judged daily on their condition to determine the winner.

Haynsworth is a Certified Equine Behavior Consultant (CEBC) through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and has a training practice in Warren called Mad River Valley Icelandic Horses, LLC. She and Vigri trained on the dirt roads here in The Valley, and on trails generously shared by neighbors, especially the Schenk and Grant families of Warren.