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PROFILE WENDY HOFSTEE

A gallop in the Atacama Desert, ChileWendy is the founder of Unicorn Trails and describes her role as looking after 'the big picture'. She manages the Website (and took most of the pictures on it), develops new products, sets up marketing plans, budgets and oversees the finances. When not travelling she works with the BHS (British Horse Society), ABRS (Association of British Riding Schools) and associations such as the Royal Geographical Society, British Equestrian Association and Long Riders Guild helping to build business throughout the international riding and travel industry.

Unicorn Trails is now fast becoming the number one knowledge resource on horse travel world-wide we hope that by making this knowledge available to others, new horizons and experiences can be opened up for everyone.

Born in Holland, Wendy grew up in South Africa and moved to England in 1990 after qualifying as a veterinary surgeon. She would work for 6 months as a vet over the summer in England and then go travelling for 6 months. It worked well and enabled Wendy to do major tours of Asia, North and South America, Africa and Europe. She is helped along the way by being able to speak Dutch, German, Spanish and Afrikaans.

Horses have been a lifelong obsession for Wendy. Her first horse was named Shiraz. Wendy says that is because she was a strawberry roan, but we know her passion for red wine, so we're not convinced! After the usual round of childhood horse competitions, Wendy got into endurance riding - this involved riding up to 100 miles in a day. She enjoyed the scenery so went wherever was most interesting, although did get in trouble on one race for going back to get her camera! She has continued this interest as a vet after graduating.

Wendy decided that as she loved riding and loved travelling, it made sense to combine the two and Unicorn Trails was set up in 1999, after she printed some business cards and told everyone she was now a travel consultant! To ensure the horse riding holidays we offer are the best world-wide, Wendy visits each one, building relationships with our partners and experiencing the rides first hand. The welfare of the horses is paramount and we won't offer rides in places where the horses aren't treated as well as the guests.

Wendy's house is full of books of all sorts including, unsurprisingly, a lot of travel books. She also likes to collect artefacts on her journeys, but prefers useful items - hence she has a stethoscope on her mantelpiece. Also a token from Cuba - a device for cutting the ends off cigars, for although not a smoker, she is partial to a Cuban cigar!

In her spare time Wendy loves to socialise, go to the theatre and is well known for her parties! Wendys' love of the outdoors and horses has even inspired a friend who went on a long ride in Ecuador with her to write a book about the experience. The title is taken from Wendys' philosophy in life - 'Why walk when you can ride?'


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Email: enquiries@unicorntrails.com
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