An inspiring story of adventure, family, and faith – as a young girl and her pony strive to make history at the world’s toughest 100-mile one-day endurance race – the Tevis Cup, and documentary TWO ENDURING SPIRITS.
After participating in the Endurance Riding scene for many years, best-selling author Claire Eckard never thought that she would one day write a book about one of the greatest stories the sport has ever known. Race Against Time tells of Kyla Law and her feral Hackney pony, Flash, as they participate in the toughest 100-mile endurance race in the world. Their story is not just one of perseverance and determination, but one of love and bonding between humans and animals.
“I had been writing a series called Gallant, The Call of The Trail, – a fictional story about a girl and her horse overcoming all odds on their journey to making Tevis Cup history” the author pointed out. “And then, all of a sudden, here they were in real life!”
After asking permission from Kyla’s parents to tell her story, Eckard realized that she had stumbled into something much deeper and more poignant than she had first realized, as she discovered the depth of Kyla and Flash’s bond, and the tragic circumstances that had brought the pair together.
When Kyla Law, a nine-year old girl, met Flash, she recognized in Flash what she felt in her own heart.
“We will never fully know the extent of what Flash went through before I met him, but he had major anxiety and would shake when anyone came near him.” Kyla shared. “I know what that feels like.”
According to Natalie Law, Kyla’s mother, “Kyla had similar symptoms of trauma having been relentlessly bullied in school. So when she saw Flash for the first time she understood his fear. They were two kindred souls connecting.”
With their bond deepening, Kyla was finally able to ride Flash, but it was a long four-year journey riddled with doubts, fear, injury, and heartache before she ever considered entering Flash in the Tevis Cup.
Their true story became an inspiration to the international community that followed them on their Facebook page The Adventures of Flash the Hackney Pony – something Natalie had started when she saw what an impact Kyla and Flash’s journey was having in the endurance community, and beyond.
“Kyla and Flash’s relationship mirrors the journey we must all take in life: one of highs and lows, successes, and failures—theirs just happens to be along a hundred-mile trail in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Their story exhibits tenacity and pure spirit: the human spirit, the Holy Spirit, and the fire-in-the-soul kind of spirit that helps us climb mountains and cross rivers, literally and figuratively” Eckard writes in the book. Kyla had also struggled with her Faith and was continually searching for a way to deepen her connection to God – something that became inexplicably entwined in her journey with Flash. By the time they crossed the elusive finish line of the 100-mile race, Flash had proved that he could overcome a lifetime of fear and succeed where many other horses had failed, and Kyla had found the deepening of her faith that she had been searching for.
In her own words: “I am a child of God, and always will be.”
Recognizing the life lessons exhibited in their story, Kirk Magleby with Scripture Central/Tell Your Story jumped on the chance to make a documentary – Two Enduring Spirits – based on Kyla and Flash’s experience, and on the family that had supported and helped her every step of the way. The documentary features exclusive interviews with Kyla, her parents, grandparents, and author Claire Eckard. The documentary includes spectacular footage of Flash running loose on the trails as he accompanies Kyla and her mother, Natalie, as they ride through the canyons and mountains of Southern Utah, and there is also footage of Kyla and Flash at their historic ride at the Tevis Cup race itself.
Two Enduring Spirits premiered January 14th in partnership with the book launch and has instantly become a Utube phenomenon with viewings climbing by the thousands daily.
Eckard wrote an original song named A Child of God featured in the documentary and which is also being made into a music video.
“This is a story that will inspire everyone who reads it,” Eckard says. “I still cry when I read it, and I’m the one who wrote it!”
Race Against Time by Claire Eckard, with Kyla and Natalie Law is currently available online through Amazon and Barnes and Noble and through the authors website (see below).