Hometown: Fort Valley, VA
Possibly the most famous endurance rider in the world, Valerie Kanavy calls endurance riding "trail riding with an attitude!" The 1994 (in The Netherlands) and 1998 (in the United Arab Emirates) World Endurance Champion, Kanavy began her competitive career in 1972.
Kanavy and her husband, Larry, have three children. Their daughter, Danielle, is almost as famous as her mother. Danielle captured the 1996 World Endurance Championships in Kansas on her mother's horse, Pieraz, narrowly defeating her mother who finished second on the gray High Winds Jedi. Jedi has an interesting history, having once been a racehorse.
Among the most well-known of her horses, 1994 World Champion, Pieraz, was bought for just $500. This proves that along with her riding and training skills, Kanavy has an excellent eye for a horse.
Another of Kanavy's horses, the 1996 World Silver Medalist, TK Fire N Gold, was sold to Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a world class endurance rider.
Some of Kanavy's other accomplishments include 2003's World Champion Master, six IAHA (now AHA) 100-mile and one 50-mile championship wins and four 100-mile reserve championships, seven Race of Champions in the top ten (including one first and one second), 1999 AHSA Horseman of the Year, Virginia's 1999 Horsewoman of the Year and USET Whitney Stone Award. She has more than 15,000 career endurance miles under her belt. In January, 2009 Kanavy will receive the Maggy Price Endurance Excellence Award.