David L.O. Smith obituary

David L.O. Smith
David L.O. Smith in Morocco in February 2019

This is possibly the hardest post I have ever had to write. David L.O. Smith, a director of Unicorn Trails since 2004 and a tireless advocate of adventures on horseback, has sadly passed away far too early.

Little did I know when I signed onto an SEO course in 2004 with David as lecturer, how influential he was to become in my life. We soon discovered that we had a love of horses and travel in common. Exercising his guiding philosophy of always saying yes to opportunities, David agreed to come on the first Atlas Crossing in Morocco in 2004.

David on the Andes Crossing ride
David at the foot of Mount Aconcagua

Our conversations in Morocco led to him becoming a director of Unicorn Trails, surely the luckiest day of the early years of Unicorn Trails. From there he went on to travel on some of our greatest adventures: Iceland, Andes Mountain Crossing from Chile to Argentina, Ethiopia, Russia, Iran, Peru, Argentina (twice), Morocco (three times), Kenya, Jordan, Patagonia, Madagascar, the Yukon in Canada, Sweden, Sierra Guara in Spain as well as more local rides such as in the Lake District in the UK and many trails all over Ireland. Everyone who had the opportunity to travel with David recognised what a great gentleman he was.

David was a great source of support and the best friend anyone could wish for.  At our regular directors meetings, over a pub meal and a pint, his advice and counsel was always spot on. He was absolutely brilliant, with in depth knowledge of almost anything, and had the ability to get to the heart of any matter he considered with a few words. Ever generous with his time, he was involved in a multitude of societies, causes, events and people ranging from antique tractors, model railway clubs, a natural horsemanship group to internet businesses and of course Unicorn Trails.

The facts and figures show he was an agricultural and civil engineer with a PhD from Iowa State University. David enjoyed serial careers as a graduate student, a research scientist, professor and entrepreneur. He was part of the internet boom and a director of various companies.

David with his first horse Fern
David with his first horse Fern

Having come to horse riding as an adult David was a passionate convert to riding and later, travel on horseback. He was always fascinated about how things with horses were done differently in other countries and, with no preconceptions, he continued to bring back knowledge throughout his time with Unicorn Trails. He made friends all over the world including his fellow travellers and horsemen and women everywhere.

He has left behind a great hole, with his beloved wife Liz, at Unicorn Trails, with his family and all the young and not so young people he mentored. The world is diminished when someone of David’s influence and reach passes away, he truly is irreplaceable.

For his personal web page see www.davidlosmith.co.uk. Below a video of David galloping through the desert in Morocco.

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