Australian longrider on winter tour of Maritimes

Katie Tower
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Joe Guy will be sharing plenty of songs and stories about his life Friday evening for a show at the Bridge Street Café.

SACKVILLE, N.B. – Joe Guy has plenty of stories to tell.

From growing up as a kid on the streets of Sydney to setting out across the Australian Outback on horseback when he was only 17, to becoming a street performer, and then packing it all up and moving to the US then Canada, where he has followed his dreams of riding and taming horses, Joe is a man with plenty to share.

And he plans on doing just that when he comes to Sackville this Friday evening for a show at the Bridge Street Café, where he will entertain with a night of music and inspire others with his life story.

“The show is all about inspiration . . . encouraging people to find their gift, their purpose, and follow their dreams,” said Joe during a brief visit to Sackville last week.

When Joe, his wife and three kids moved to the United States several years ago, he became a clinician, specializing in fixing problem horses.

A longrider who has logged over 13,000 miles on horseback, what makes Joe different from other longriders is that he only rides horses deemed “unrideable,” the ones that were earmarked for slaughter before they arrived on his doorstep.

He said he loves the challenge of developing a bond with a horse that many trainers or owners had already written off as unfixable.

Moving to Canada in 2011, Joe’s first horseback journey in this country was from Calgary to Ontario, followed by a ride over Alberta’s historic Cowboy Trail. Last year, he travelled from British Columbia and rode about 2,000 miles to Thunder Bay, ON, when he had to stop because winter was starting to set in.

Joe said he is planning on saddling up again in the spring to make the trip from Thunder Bay to the East Coast to finish up his trip cross country.

But in the meantime, Joe and his family are paying a winter visit to the Maritime provinces in a camper, putting on music shows and speaking to young people.

Sackville is one of their first stops on their Maritime tour, where Joe will be joined by his 12-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter, who will back him up on vocals. The show will also serve to promote Joe’s autobiography, which he has been working on for the last 15 years. His 15-year-old son handles sales of Joe’s book, A Life Without Living.

Joe said his book is constantly evolving as the years go by, having gone from a mere 137 pages when he first wrote it to its current reprint with over 250 pages.

“It talks about how I’ve chased my dream for 25 years,” said Joe. “And how it’s not about being driven by fame or fortune but doing something for the love of it.”

The show, which is set for this Friday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. at Bridge Street Cafe, has no admission charge but donations are accepted.

Organizations: Bridge Street Cafe

Geographic location: SACKVILLE, United States, Canada Maritimes Sydney Thunder Bay Calgary Ontario Alberta British Columbia East Coast

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