The sport of endurance has taken Jodie Salinas all around the world.
And now she's been crowned one of the globe's best.
Salinas rode in the 160 kilometre FEI Endurance World Championships in Batheed, United Arab Emirates on February 25.
From the 118 starters from 36 nations, Salinas finished fifth aboard Baroud Rio in the championship. Bahrain's Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa was the overall winner.
Salinas grew up in Glen Innes in NSW's Northern Tablelands, riding as much as she could.
"Starting at a local riding school at the age of 12 years turned out to be priceless," Salinas said.
"Elsie Newsome, our instructor, showed us the way through pony club and shows in the summer and Endurance in the winter. But, not only were we students, we were part of something bigger - a family, a team and a community of support and endurance brought as closer and closer."
Salinas first finished a 160km ride in Boonah, Queensland, in 1999 to qualify to compete in Australia's most revered ride - the Tom Quilty.
The following year, she was successful in completing the Tom Quilty.
Salinas went on to complete five Tom Quiltys across Australia for top results of third and fourth placings, as well as a trip across the Nullarbor for a Perth-based event.
She went on to compete in endurance in Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Slovakia, UK, USA, UAE, Bahrain and New Zealand.
"The magic of endurance is just that , experiencing any country be that Australia or abroad on horse back and I honestly couldn't think of a better way to do it than looking through a horses ears," Salinas said.
Not only has her sport taken her all over the world, it led her to meeting her husband, Argentinian Mariano Salinas.
"In 2005 I made the trip to the UAE with Elsie a few other Aussies and horses to help acclimatize and settle them in for around a month," she said.
"But, being the start of the endurance season we ended up staying. I worked closely with Elsie for many years here which made it all so much easier and a feeling of home.
"When Elsie was ready to head home I had met my now husband Mariano Salinas from Argentina. We both worked in the same stable after a little time, him in his veterinary position and myself as a rider. We would spend the winter season here in the UAE and the Summer season based in the UK for the European season."
Salinas was selected to represent the country again in 2018 for the World Equestrian Games but couldn't after her horse suffered a bout of colic one month before the event.
Leading into this year's world championships, Salinas knew she'd have to be extra conscientious with her preparation.
"I believe if you can have the opportunity to see a world championship course beforehand you should absolutely take it," she said.
"Knowing that Butheeb was going to be hot, I spent many hours in the saddle of different horses so I could be acclimatized myself. I have a young horse that I did a lot of slow work with, many long walks over the dunes in the desert during the day, which I love anyway and luckily so does she."
She also had the advantage of knowing her partner for the event - Baroud Rio - fairly well.
Salinas began riding the 12-year-old in March 2022 and took him in a 2* event in Spain and then France for a qualifying 3*.
His October arrival in the UAE gave him the opportunity to the hot temperatures.
With a smooth preparation and a talented mount, Salinas aimed for top 10.
"I can't tell you enough about him - he is an absolute star," Salinas said.
"I know I've said that before about horses and their ability but he is something else."
The pair rode with a group of horses in "an easy, flowing continuous pace that just had the right rhythm and feel to it."
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As riders and horses withdrew or failed vet checks, Salinas and Baroud powered on.
"The fact that his mindset is absolutely magic, it was him and I against the world in the middle of the desert and he never once faltered," she said.
"His ears were forward, his eagerness, his freedom was unbelievable. It was something I have never felt with a horse before, even at that level of competition."
With 160kms ridden, Salinas and Baroud had one last hurdle - the final vet check.
She got the thumbs up for the fifth place result and cried "tears of utter joy."
"To be fifth in the world though is something that you can only dream about," Salinas said.
"When I was given that okay and congratulations from the veterinary team, I remember the feeling of utter happiness, joy, relief (as you never know and anything can happen right up to the final veterinary panel).
"I knew when he trotted sound that we were okay and I hugged his neck and cried into his mane before I was even given the verdict as I knew we had done it."
Salinas was thankful to trainer Mohammed Al Suboosi and the team of support staff.
"To give the team that was behind us that result was a feeling of complete happiness, my crew deserved it even more than me as they put there heart and souls into every minute of the race," she said.
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