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Exploring the Earth, Equestrian-style

Adventure seeker Darley Newman travels the world on freewheeling horseback. Now audiences across the nation can take the ride as well.

Newman, BA ’01, combined her personal passion with her background in television to create Equitrekking, the first travel series to explore the planet by horse. From the beaches of Southern Spain, to mountainous Colorado, to Vermont’s country roads, Newman and her crew set out to find the best rides.

Darley Newman rode champion cutting horses at a Colorado cattle farm for her new television series Equitrekking. Newman, who started riding at age 7, says Equitrekking allows travelers to explore parts of the world otherwise inaccessible.

“When you’re on horseback, you get to know the locals pretty quickly, and they guide you to places you wouldn’t normally go,” Newman says. “It’s a great way to learn the history and culture.”

Newman launched the series with husband Carl “Chip” Ward, BA ’00, MA ’02, and fellow GW alumni Alex Schwartz, BA ’06, and John McGlasson, BA ’00, MFA ’03, after several years in television work. The high definition show will debut nationally on Public Television this summer with six episodes.

Galloping through wildflower fields and racing across creek beds, Newman goes off the beaten path, quite literally, on weeklong journeys in such picturesque places as Wyoming, the Carolinas, and the Georgia coast.

The show is as educational as it is adventurous, Newman says. The crew uses the area’s native horses, highlighting the different breeds throughout the world while explaining why they vary in landscapes and climates.

The Myrtle Beach, S.C., native has been riding since age 7 but started trekking again regularly in college. After graduating, Newman worked in television at CBS and the WB, and was a broadcaster for Talk Radio News Service in Washington, D.C.

Still, her childhood love continued to call to her from the fast-paced news world. Newman and her husband took her broadcasting experience and his business background and found sponsors for the series. Now, in the wild, she sets her own pace.

“There’s a certain quiet when you ride,” Newman says. “You focus on the sounds that surround you.”

Newman has regularly written for equestrian magazines and Web sites, and she also maintains a blog of her adventures as editor of At GW, she was an electronic media major at the School of Media and Public Affairs and says she’s grateful for a degree that has enabled her to produce her own show.

This summer, she is filming the next series in Ireland.

With a steady steed, some high definition camera equipment, and a healthy sense of adventure, Newman and crew are ready to take the reins.

“We basically pack our horses,” Newman says, “and ride off into the sunset.”

Jaime Ciavarra