Olympic hopefuls compete in Event at Rebecca Farm
KALISPELL, Mont. - The stakes are high for competitors in the country's largest equestrian triathlon. Olympians from the United States and Canada, as well as Olympic hopefuls are competing in the Event at Rebecca Farm. They told their stories to NBC Montana.
"Oh my gosh. It's a week away, two days away, one day away," said Kayde Undraitis.
NBC Montana found Undraitis on the field getting ready to compete. This is an event she's been waiting all year for.
"I never really thought, like I hoped it would happen, but now that it's actually happening it's crazy and I can't believe it," Undraitis said.
Undraitis and her horse, Ice Charger, have been taking lessons and training multiple times a day to keep herself and the horse healthy and in shape.
"It's a lot of hard work. Getting up early, staying up late, riding when you don't want to ride," Undraitis said.
All to compete at the training level on the cross-country course, one of the hardest courses in the triathlon. It's an event that requires focus and precision from both the horse and the rider.
Undraitis can't believe the competition is already here -- she knows that this is just one step towards her dream.
"It would be a dream of mine to go to the Olympics," Undraitis said.
It's a dream most of these riders share.
"I want to get there and I'm going to do it," Undraitis said.
NBC Montana spoke to Hawley Awad, an Olympian competing at Rebecca Farm, about Undraitis' dreams. She couldn't help but smile.
"Seeing kids with dreams is pretty cool," said Awad, a Team Canada Olympian.
Awad has been a member of the Canadian Olympic team since 2003. She's competing in the Event at Rebecca Farm to prepare for the World Equestrian Games.
Her advice to people like Undraitis is to never give up.
"If you're willing to work hard, people will recognize it and help you out, and hard work pays off," said Awad.
That's exactly what Undraitis plans to do.
"I'm definitely going to keep riding as much as I can and do all that I can to get to my dream," she said.
Undraitis will start competing on Friday, July 25 in the dressage event.