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Meet the Teams from the Sea 2 Shining Sea Ride

Sea 2 Shining Sea Ride Icelandic horses

The 2021 Sea 2 Shining Sea Ride began January 1, 2021 and has over 100 participating riders! This ride covers 5,000 miles and uses 20 checkpoints in 4 regions of the US. Riders can compete individually or in teams of 6 or fewer.

20 teams are currently participating in the virtual ride and today we will introduce you to Solheimar Dream Team and the Alaska Arctic Riders.

The Solheimar Dream Team includes Susan Gibbons, Susan Matheke, Amy Keeler Amy Bedell, Pat Fay and Meredith Vanderminden. Susan G., Susan M. and Amy all live on Block Island, a small island 12 miles off the southern coast of Rhode Island where they ride on trails, dirt roads and beaches. Amy lives on a 190 acre farm in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont where they have a small maple sugaring operation. Pat Fay also lives in Vermont with her two Icelandic horses.

The Solheimar Dream Team is currently in first place in the Teams standings having ridden 1,724.96 miles. Amy Bedell is in second place in the Individual standings with 701.00 miles.

The Alaska Arctic Riders includes Daniel Coverdell, Markus Doerry, Brenda Richard, Mary Sackinger, Susan Tilly, and Silke Wandling from Eagle River and Fairbanks Alaska. The team focuses on quality time with their horses, nature and friends. Together, they have over 200 years of horse experience and enjoy exploring new trails and places. 

The Alaska Arctic Riders are currently in 11th place in the Teams standings with 805.4 miles ridden and Daniel Coverdell is in third place in the Individual standings with 637.40 miles. 

Participation in the Sea 2 Shining Sea ride is free for all USIHC members as a benefit of membership. Riders can join at anytime. Visit for more information and the current standings.

Solheimar Dream Team

Sea 2 Shining Sea Ride Icelandic horses on Block Island

“I'm 62 years old and rode horses throughout my younger years and took a big break between my late 20's and early 50's. My first time riding an Icelandic horse at the Vermont Icelandic horse farm about 10 years ago, and knew then that I would have to own one! I now own Odinn (age 18) and Falki (age 8), and couldn't be happier about it!” - Susan Gibbons

Sea 2 Shining Sea Ride Icelandic horses on Block Island

“I'm 74 years old- believe it or not- and I rode a lot in my early years but stopped when my legs ached miserably from trying to ride and dance. I danced professionally and taught for many years.  At 62, nearing retirement, I joyfully jumped back on a horse. I now own my gentlemanly Icelandic horse, Tryggur, 20 years.” -Susan Matheke

Sea 2 Shining Sea Ride Icelandic horses on Block Island

“I am 66 years old and an organic farmer. My involvement with horses has been lifelong.  Growing up in CT I had a horse and was a B rider with Pony Club as well as showed Hunter and Equitation. Meeting Sue Gibbons and Susan Matheke has introduced me to the wonderful breed of Icelandic horses. I do not own one(yet) but Sue has Falki and Odinn, which I am so fortunate to ride.” -Amy Keeler 

Sea 2 Shining Sea Icelandic horse

“Last year I rode with the Ice Trekkers.  It was a great experience, and very motivating to get out and ride.  Hoping to surpass my mileage from last year, when I placed in top 3. I got back into riding 5 years ago after a 35 year hiatus, and fell in love with the Icelandic breed. I do not know any of team personally, but the Icelandic community is small, so we know each other from the online groups we belong to.” - Amy Bedell

Sea 2 Shining Sea Ride Icelandic horses

“Vorrós came to the US at the end of September and then in November we brought her to our boarding barn. Fast forward to now and we are learning a lot about each other and slowly becoming a team. She is only 5 but has the calm demeanor of an older horse. We have enjoyed many hours together riding, doing ground work, longeing, clicker training and much more.” - Pat Fay

Alaska Arctic Riders