Carmel Valley equestrian galloping towards 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Olympic eventer Lauren Billys and her horse Purdy are preparing for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. The pair rides for Team Puerto Rico. At the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Billys made history becoming the first female eventer to ever represent Puerto Rico in the Olympics. She and Purdy finished 44th that year. “My experience that I have gained over the last five years is really going to lend itself, I think, this year into Tokyo. I feel really good about this year. We are so much better than we were.”Billys fell in love with the sport in Visalia. She began riding horses at 8 years old and it was a summer camp that sparked her passion for eventing. “I seriously just fell in love. I love every aspect of the sport and I realized this is what I wanted to compete in.”While she grew up in Central California, Billys is eligible to compete for Puerto Rico because of her grandmother. “I am super thankful to represent my family and my heritage and to ride for Puerto Rico.”At 19 years old, Purdy is the oldest horse competing in this year’s Olympics. Billys and Purdy have been riding together since 2014. “This is like my best friend. Quite honestly, what we do is scary. It is hard. You have to have somebody that you trust implicitly. Purdy has been a part of every day of my life. We have developed a partnership on the ground and under saddle that involves a lot of trust. We have fun together. Purdy loves it as much as I do.” Billys is hosting a fundraiser to help support her and Purdy’s trip to the Tokyo Olympics. The fundraiser is Saturday, June 12 at Folktale Winery in Carmel Valley. The event begins at 5:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased and donations can be made at www.laurenbillys.com/fundraiser

Olympic eventer Lauren Billys and her horse Purdy are preparing for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.

The pair rides for Team Puerto Rico. At the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Billys made history becoming the first female eventer to ever represent Puerto Rico in the Olympics. She and Purdy finished 44th that year.

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“My experience that I have gained over the last five years is really going to lend itself, I think, this year into Tokyo. I feel really good about this year. We are so much better than we were.”

Billys fell in love with the sport in Visalia. She began riding horses at 8 years old and it was a summer camp that sparked her passion for eventing.

“I seriously just fell in love. I love every aspect of the sport and I realized this is what I wanted to compete in.”

While she grew up in Central California, Billys is eligible to compete for Puerto Rico because of her grandmother. “I am super thankful to represent my family and my heritage and to ride for Puerto Rico.”

At 19 years old, Purdy is the oldest horse competing in this year’s Olympics. Billys and Purdy have been riding together since 2014.

“This is like my best friend. Quite honestly, what we do is scary. It is hard. You have to have somebody that you trust implicitly. Purdy has been a part of every day of my life. We have developed a partnership on the ground and under saddle that involves a lot of trust. We have fun together. Purdy loves it as much as I do.”

Billys is hosting a fundraiser to help support her and Purdy’s trip to the Tokyo Olympics. The fundraiser is Saturday, June 12 at Folktale Winery in Carmel Valley. The event begins at 5:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased and donations can be made at www.laurenbillys.com/fundraiser

Contributed by local news sources

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