Equestrian Life
Atlantic Coast Pipeline on horseback

Rob Roy and UFO ©  Trekking the Atlantic Coast Pipeline tumblr

Rob Roy and UFO.

©  Trekking the Atlantic Coast Pipeline tumblr


The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a 42 inch natural gas pipeline that is planned to run about 600 miles (970 km) between West Virginia and eastern North Carolina. Environmental groups and landowners in the pipline’s path have expressed concern about the pipeline. Construction of the pipeline began in West Virginia on May, 23 2018, however construction has now been halted until 2021 due to opposition. 

By Sarah Murphy

My grandfather was a logger. He owned a lumber mill and used to pull trees down with horses, haul and process them. I was told he once had a horse take off on him and run him into a log truck. As a child he put my on my first pony. The whole family would go on group trail rides in fields and woods, camping under the stars. I blame him for the ensuing horse addiction that has continued to swim in my blood over thirty years later.

Six years ago I completed a 300-mile horseback ride to protest mountaintop removal, where they blow off the tops off of mountains to retrieve thin seams of coal. Once the land is touched like that it can never be returned to the way it was before. I rode Rob Roy, my family’s 17 hand high Percheron/Thoroughbred cross fox-hunter. It was during this ride that I realized what an exceptional horse he was as he handled every trail obstacle and variable in stride, including us being hit by a logging truck as I was riding him.


Sarah Murphy of Nelson County and Rob Roy © Trekking the Atlantic Coast Pipeline tumblr page

Sarah Murphy of Nelson County and Rob Roy.

© Trekking the Atlantic Coast Pipeline tumblr page


Last fall I began what would be an over 600-mile ride from Virginia into West Virginia, a ride that would eventually lead us to the ocean in Chesapeake and into North Carolina. This ride was to bring attention and highlight the environmental concerns and considerations of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

During this trek I have met so many wonderful people and strangers who are now friends. This whole trip has run on the generosity and kindness of those we have encountered, it shows you the best part of humanity in a world that seems to have gone wild. There are so many unaccountable acts of serendipity and perfect timing that I cannot account for, times when I’m being held in what feels like a giant helping hand or master plan.

I have witnessed the changing of the seasons and mountain scenery unlike any other. I’ve survived my horse being bogged down belly deep in mud, a broken finger and camping in ten inches of snow. We are just coming off of our three-month winter hiatus and preparing to complete another 370 miles this spring. I am both excited and apprehensive over what stands before us. You can prepare and plan forever and still not be ready for the things that may face you.


Rob Roy on trek © Trekking the Atlantic Coast Pipeline tumblr

Rob Roy on trek.

© Trekking the Atlantic Coast Pipeline tumblr


In addition, our two person human and equine team will be joined by Unbridled Flourish (UFO) a four- coming 5 year old – off the track Throroughbred. After rehabbing from a chipped knee he has many hand walks and seven rides under saddle in his favor. He constantly impresses me with his level headedness and willingness to try. There are so many things he will be seeing for the first time, which makes me so apprehensive, but I believe Rob Roy will show him the way and we will complete this together as our own little moveable herd of three.

Click here to join us on our adventure.

Happy trails!

From Sarah Murphy, Rob Roy and UFO.





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© copyright. Equestrian Life. Friday, 29 May 2020