● By Style
Photo by Dante Fontana
Very few people can truly claim they are living their life-long dream, but Melissa Harris is an exception.
Born and raised in El Dorado County, Harris fell in love with horses at the tender age of five. Following her passion, she completed her high school studies through home schooling, enabling her to focus solely on horses. By the time Harris turned 18, she had started a business sharing her love of training and breeding horses, as well as teaching others to ride.
This year, one of Harris’ ultimate dreams became reality after she competed in the horse event known around the world as “Tevis.” The Tevis Cup is an endurance event in which the riders must complete a 100-mile course in only 24 hours. Harris had been training her horse, Bailey, for eight years to compete. While 187 riders began the race this year, only 97 finished. Despite an accident on the trail where Bailey was injured – forcing the pair to actually walk the last 10 miles – the tough twosome finished 50th in 22 hours. “Tevis was my childhood dream. I wanted to do it my whole life,” Harris shares. Therefore, it’s not surprising that Harris is already getting ready for next year and while her daily routine sounds grueling to the outside observer (up at 5 a.m. and busy with horses until bed time), Harris clearly loves every minute of it.
For more about Melissa Harris, and other local happenings and information, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style – El Dorado County Foothills edition. Click on the Get Your Copy link on this Web site for some of our newsstand locations; click on the Subscribe link on this Web site to become a regular subscriber, or to order a copy of this issue or one of our back issues, please email email@example.com, or call 916-988-9888.