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Another new event designed to push the progression of women’s freeride is underway this week up in Revelstoke, British Columbia, where Casey Brown’s Dark Horse Invitational is center stage. A group of both veteran and up-and-coming riders are gathered in Revvy to ride the new Pro Line, a four-feature course Brown envisioned that will live in the Revelstoke Mountain Resort bike park after this week’s event. The ladies started the week with shuttle laps on the DH trails at Boulder Mountain, and also spent some time walking the Dark Horse course, which starts with a huge 13-foot ramp and rolls into a step up, a step down and a straight jump then into the progression zone with an air bag and mulch.
The girls ultimately all hit the initial drop-in, including the youngest rider, 12-year-old (yes, 12!) Tayte Proulx-Royds from Kelowna, and are continuing to work on nailing tricks on the course jumps, and work on no-handers and backflips in the airbag/mulch zone. The Dark Horse is an environment of encouragement, community and friendship with the overall progression of women’s freeride as the underlying theme, versus competition. That vibe has been the theme this year as women’s freeride has grown leaps and bounds, thanks to events like Red Bull Formation, Dark Horse Invitational, the Mons Royale Future Ground Progression Camp in New Zealand and Hannah Bergemann’s upcoming Hang Time Jump Jam in her hometown of Bellingham, Washington, that are all pushing for more representation of women in a corner of the sport that’s typically been male-dominated. The full Dark Horse rider list is: Georgia Astle, Micayla Gatto, Bailey Goldstone, Hannah Bergemann, Jordy Scott, Natasha Miller, Camila Nogueira, Miranda Miller, CJ Selig, Casey Brown, Lucy Van Eastern, Lily Boucher, Tayte Proulx-Royds and Sarah Walter.
Photographer Robin O’Neill is on the ground for us in Revelstoke, and sent us this photo dispatch from the first couple days of the event.