When Cassandra Mayer embarked on an Earthwatch expedition tracking elk in the remote wilds of Kentucky, she was working as an actor’s agent in London. However, it was during the expedition that Cassandra was reminded of her love of animals, ultimately leading to a change of career.
Cassandra and the five other volunteers had accompanied a team of technicians from the University of Kentucky. The team were tranquilising several elk so that they could repair their tracking collars. “In the course of this, an entire herd of horses came over to us,” says Cassandra, describing her Eureka moment. “I sort of had this click in my brain, which is ‘I really like domestic animals’, and ‘I’ve really really missed horses’.” Cassandra had spent her childhood summers in the mountains of Colorado where horseback riding in remote nature was a big part of her life.
When she returned to London, she began horse-riding lessons at Lee Valley Riding Centre where she now works as the Duty Manager having worked her way up the ranks gaining qualifications. The role involves her working closely with her team, something she also realised she enjoyed during the Earthwatch expedition.
“To discover how an elemental a part of myself working like this is in time to do something about it in the way I live my life now was a gift.”