Tetbury woman’s three months as a cowboy on an Argentinian ranch

Sophia Ashe spent three months working in a team of gauchos, Argentina’s version of cowboys, in the middle of La Pampa. 

Arriving aged 21, Sophia was the only foreigner and only woman on the team and had never met any of the others before. 

What was supposed to be a six-week stay turned into a three-month one when the Covid-19 pandemic started.

Sophia, who has an agriculture degree from the Royal Agricultural University, spent her days helping out the ranch which is twice the size of Birmingham.

On one occasion they set off riding under the morning stars and unsaddled under the evening stars. Another time she and one other were tasked with moving 600 cattle. 

Sophia, who never thought she’d ever write a book, began writing in isolation after being repatriated to the UK.

“I had the most incredible experience,” she said.

“I had all these things I wanted to tell everybody. I didn’t want those memories to fade. 

“I just sat at my computer and started writing.”

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Sophia gave a Ride Like A Gaucho demo at the Beaufort Festival of PoloSophia gave a Ride Like A Gaucho demo at the Beaufort Festival of Polo

Her book, Ride Like A Gaucho, took two years to finish, as she wrote on weekends and days off from working on farms in Tetbury.

She hopes to return one day to see the gauchos.

“They are a very joyful people who work really hard.

“They look out for each other and take a lot of pride in their work and in their culture. 

“I would love to go back. I stay in touch and I really miss them.”
The book was launched last month and Sophia has been pleased with the response.

“It’s been really really nice.

“Not many people know about the gauchos but they were so caring and generous. I wanted to acknowledge this.”

Ride Like A Gaucho is available in paperback from The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop in Tetbury. Kindle versions are available via Amazon. 

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