Even appendicitis, a broken hand and pneumonia couldn't stop this brave rider targeting the #Hack1000Miles finish line...

You’d be forgiven for missing the odd ride or two when you’re feeling under the weather. But with the fierce determination and motivation that Jo McCormac has, this isn’t an option. 


In a short time frame, Jo suffered appendicitis, broke a hand and contracted pneumonia.

Yet she still finds time to clock up the miles and is rapidly approaching the #Hack1000Miles finish line.

“I’m a student and freelance groom, and my horses, Tia and Dubh, have to fit around this – so riding is usually done at very unsociable times,” says Jo. 

“My headtorch is permanently on my hat from September until May as I often ride in the dark.”

No holding back

Jo’s determination to ride and compete is in a league of its own, given what she has overcome in order to continue riding.

At the beginning of September, she returned from the World Young Rider TREC Championships having contracted pneumonia. 

“I managed one day without riding before carrying on,” says Jo. 

“That was more because I was so tired after the mammoth drive home over three days.” 

But this wasn’t the end of Jo’s bad luck. She left for the British TREC Championships just weeks later with a broken hand, and the weekend was brought to an abrupt halt when she collapsed from appendicitis. This time, she had no choice but to rest. 

“I was forced not to ride for a week because I wasn’t able to get to the yard,” Jo tells us. “But as soon as I was cleared to drive, I was back with the horses and hacking out.”  

Another 1000 miles is on the cards

“I think it’s good that hacking is receiving recognition for how beneficial it is for training purposes,” says Jo. “My total is currently 1680 miles, and they will keep clocking up.

“The plan is to ride from Cirencester to France next year, as part of Equirando, where riders from all over Europe ride to a central point and have a weekend together before riding home. 

“The current fun is figuring out the logistics – I want to do it self-sufficiently, without a back-up car bringing feed or a tent.”


Could you Hack 1,000 Miles? Find out more about our fun, free, achievable challenge here.