After being told that she could not have a horse because they were too expensive, 11-year-old Sarah Simpson, decided to try the next best thing – riding a cow. Now 18, Sarah has her own horse, but she still rides her favorite cow, Lilac, just as much, if not more than she used to.
Sarah had been dreaming of having her own horse for as long as she can remember, but after her parents told her that buying one was to expensive, she discovered that riding a cow could be just as fun. It all started when her younger brother, Tim, dared her to try it, and even though she had no riding experience, she jumped on Lilac, a 6-months-old calf living on the family farm. The animal didn’t seem to mind, so she kept on doing it for the last six and a half years.
Photo: Hannah Simpson/Instagram
“Lilac was only six months then and I was just a midget. It was a dare from my brother to jump on and she seemed OK with it so we kept going. Before then I’d only ridden a pony twice, and a sheep,” Sarah says. She and her unusual mount have become a popular sight around Invercargill, a town in New Zealand’s deep south, and they’ve recently started attracting international attention, thanks to Simpson’s Instagram account.
“She is a cow and I can’t expect her to ride like a horse,” Simpson admits. “Without a bit of prodding she wouldn’t really do anything, she has a very chilled-out nature.” She recently taught Lilac how to jump over obstacles, and she seems to love it. Despite being “Quite fat”, the cow can leap over obstacles up to 1.4 meters high. She hates cantering and going up or down hills, but bush-walks, long river swims and jumping she seems to enjoy.
Sarah tried riding Lilac with a horse saddle, but the 7-year-old cow didn’t like it very much, so she’s been riding her bareback ever since. Even so, the cowgirl claims Lilac is more comfortable than a horse.
Lilac has bucked Sarah off countless times in the last six and a half years, but compared to other cows she has attempted to ride, she is by far the best.
Interestingly, Sarah Simpson is not the first cow-rider we’ve ever featured on OC. Back in 2011, we wrote about Regina Mayer, from Laufen, Germany, who rides her pet cow Luna as a show horse.