"Being charged by a leopard and a buffalo in Africa, getting lost on Mount Everest, taking Prince Philip’s favourite photograph of him with his team of Fell ponies, and riding horses through numerous countries around the world – that’s just a taste of the adventures enjoyed by the indomitable Tracey Elliott-Reep".
Tracey grew up riding ponies on Dartmoor in South West England, where she currently has her base producing cards, calendars and books. She struggled through school with severe dyslexia and, after completing art college, she worked with and sketched the animals in a travelling circus, travelled across North America, taught horse riding and qualified as a photographer in South Wales. For several years she then worked as a freelance photographer for magazines, during which time she interviewed Royalty at Buckingham Palace, and went on to ride 2,000 miles from North to South Island in New Zealand.
Thirty years ago, the London-based magazine went bust, owing her thousands of pounds. With very little money, Tracey started her own business, beginning with just six postcard designs, while living in a caravan with her Jack Russell dog, Sam.
Tracey’s faith in God and her love of horses, adventure and photography have given her opportunities to travel to many places, including Africa, Tibet, Israel and Russia. She has ridden horses from the top of Scotland to Land’s End in England, around Southern Ireland, Wales, from Mexico to Canada across America, across Southern Europe from Greece over the European Alps to north west Spain and around Israel.
Last year she headed to Scotland with her Highland pony, Callum, who she had bought there 20 years previously, and her Dartmoor pack pony, Cloudy Bay. As they travelled, Tracey photographed and filmed British native ponies and interviewed their breeders. She is currently compiling a book combining both of these rides through Great Britain. This will be her sixth beautiful photographic adventure book.
The first one told the story of her adventures in New Zealand book, and this was followed by a book about her ride through Ireland, and then Riding by Faith Across America – an exciting account of her travels from Mexico to Canada riding two Quarter horses. Encouraged by the popularity of her first New Zealand book, Tracey reprinted it, adding another ride through the same country on two beautiful Palomino horses. She ended this by winning a thrilling horse race at Tolaga Bay, beating fierce Maori competition! Riding by Faith through New Zealand
Twelve years ago, Tracey flew to Greece, bought two Greek ponies and then travelled from Athens, across the European Alps, joined the Camino de Santiago and ended up in north west Spain. Riding by Faith across Southern Europe.
In October 2017, she headed for Israel to photograph the centenary of the Charge of Beersheba – a heroic and historic battle involving both men and horses. A re-enactment in the Negev desert was the first step of Tracey's own journey on horseback around this incredible country: Riding by Faith through Israel.
Tracey has published a beautiful photographic books on her own local native pony breed, The Dartmoor Pony book. and Dartmoor National Park. She also loves sheep (and had her own little flock) which feature in two other books: Shaggy Sheep
In 2016, Tracey started a new literary venture, compiling a series of charming photographic children’s books called Rainbow and Her Farmyard Friends. They are so popular that she published another book on her first foal, Rainbow, called A Day on Dartmoor with Rainbow the Pony. Then came a box set of five early reader books called Puppy Dog Stories and, most recently, a five-book series called On the Farm. She is compiling three more children's books the Ginger Stories. 1 Chestnut Foal, 2 ginger Kittens, 9 Ginger Bunny Rabbits.
During lockdown, Tracey compiled over 100 short, moving stories about the adventures of her life. While working on this, the Equerry to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, contacted her and asked permission to use his favourite photo that Tracey had taken of him with his Fell ponies, for his 100th birthday.
As the Duke already had a few of Tracey’s adventure books, she planned to send him her 100+ adventure stories. Sadly, he passed away before Tracey could get a limited edition to him. Instead, she sent it to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, in memory of her late husband.
Tracey is expecting some specific and prophesied events to manifest in her life, before publishing her exciting action packed book. It will cover many of her adventures, including working in a travelling circus, riding around the world, and other personal and professional ups and downs. Here’s a taste of what you can expect:
Africa: while on assignment as a photographer she was charged by a leopard and then by a Cape buffalo which kill more people in Africa than any other animal.
Tibet: she and her companions were lost on Everest at around 19,500ft (nearly 6,000m) in dark, windy and freezing conditions.
Colorado: Tracey felt led to go to Bible college in Colorado but only had enough money for two months, and ended up owing money for rent and college fees. But then she met an International children’s book publisher, who offered her a huge advance!
Scotland: Tracey travelled back to Scotland with her ponies and ended up at Crathie Kirk – the church where Queen Elizabeth worshipped all her life. Here she met the Queen’s minister who invited her and her ponies back to the Old Manse (developed by Queen Victoria as a home for her faithful friend Tom Brown). He delivered Tracey’s book, Riding by Faith through Southern Ireland to the Queen the week before she died.
Tracey is currently compiling the rough cut of the film footage from her journey through Britain last summer. Please see 'Film clips' and writing a book starring Callum, the same Highland pony she rode from the top of Scotland to Land’s End 20 years earlier. She is also training her Dartmoor ponies for her Rainbow Team, to bring joy, fun and peace to children.
Please click on the link below to see a short video about Tracey made after her journey across Southern Europe:
“I believe the word enthusiasm has its roots in the combination of two Greek words meaning “God within”. Your passion for photography and horses underscores your enthusiasm.” DM, California
Please click on the link below to see a short video about Tracey’s journey across America via YouTube: