SUBMITTED BY BRENDA MURDOCK
Alberta entrepreneurs Brenda Murdock and Scott Phillips have stepped out into the international scene with their Global Equine Geocaching website, Amazing Backcountry – a world-wide network of equine enthusiasts who enjoy the fun and adventure of exploring backcountry trails on horseback.
Geocaching is a sport where people search for hidden objects or caches by using coordinates that have been posted on the internet. There are a handful of geocaching websites out there with thousands of users all over the world but, “What separates us from the rest,” says Murdock, “is that Amazing Backcountry specifically caters to the horse enthusiasts.”
Scott and Brenda have designed the website to integrate rider-to- rider interaction, rider profiles through which you share your journeys to each cache through pictures and stories, and a trail database. The rider network revolves around the two core principles of sharing information, and connecting with other riders on the trail.
Of great interest to users, the trail database is an extensive collection of worldwide equestrian trail specifications. This includes locations, staging and camping areas. The database also features a rider updated photo library, interesting facts, and information on the history or geology of areas all over the world. If you’re going on a holiday, you can easily go on the site and see what caches are in that area and what kinds of trails are available with the push of a button.
Phillips shares, “Our goal is to bring all riders together so that we can share our knowledge and passion of the trails we love to ride. This is also a great way to network with riders in other areas, and even other countries!”
The world has so many incredible places to explore on horseback. There are people that regularly ride favorite trails, and those that are always yearning to explore new territory. Amazing Backcountry caters to everyone. There are no age restrictions, skill requirements, or preference toward any discipline. Ride where and when you want to. As an Amazing Backcountry Rider, armed with your Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver and trail information, your goal is to use your ingenuity to locate hidden caches, or hide one yourself for others to find.
There are also fundraising opportunities available to registered Not-For-Profit (NFP) organizations through Amazing Backcountry. NFP’s can use groups of caches to support a fundraising effort. Amazing Backcountry Riders who are part of your fundraiser find sponsors to donate to your organization in a competition to see who can raise the most. 2012 saw Amazing Backcountry participants raise $19,300 for STARS!
The Amazing Backcountry Race for STARS fundraiser will be taking place again this summer, running from late June to early September. “What makes it even more fun this year is that participants can hide their own caches for it” says Brenda.
Head over to the website and check it out at www.amazingbackcountry.net.