Dr. Margaret “Meg” Sleeper began riding as a child, when she received riding lessons for Christmas. Her father bought her a horse the following year, an Appaloosa named Tecumseh. After that she never looked back, completing her first competitive trail ride, a 30-mile race with “Tummy” in 1980.
A few years later, Sleeper and her dad were at an auction to raise money for Blair Academy, where one of the alumni had donated a two-year-old Half-Arabian. After winning the bidding, they left with the untrained young horse who they named Chaucer. Sleeper and Chaucer would learn together and began taking part in endurance rides in 1986. They did their first 100-mile ride at Old Dominion in 1989. Sleeper has raised many of the horses she has competed, and are relatives of Chaucer.
Sleeper was on the U.S. East Gold medal team in the 2001 Pan American Endurance Championship, where she was seventh individually. She has competed twice in the prestigious endurance ride in Dubai in 2001 on Syrocco Troilus and in 2002 on Syrocco Blair.
In 2006, Sleeper was 22nd at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany, and the second fastest U.S. rider. She finished first individually in the 2007 Zone Team Endurance Challenge (ZTEC), and her horse Syrocco Troilus also won the Best Conditioned Award and helped earn the Team Gold.
She was a member of the 2008 U.S. team in Malaysia on Syrocco Reveille, and was a member of the Gold medal-winning U.S. East team at the 2009 North American Endurance Challenge in Lexington, Ky., where she was sixth individually on Syrocco Harmony. Also in 2009, Sleeper was first in the FEI Vermont 100-mile ride and won Best Conditioned on Syrocco Gabriel.
In 2010, Sleeper won the FITS CEI3* 160 KM race with Syrocco Reveille, who also won the Best Conditioned Award. She then traveled to New Lowell, Ontario, and came in fourth in the CEI3* 160 KM race with Syrocco Cadence. Sleeper finished up the year by being part of the U.S. team at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
In her first race of 2011, Sleeper finished second at the Dupuis Piney Pig CEI3* 160 KM race with Syrocco Reveille. She then won the FITS CEI1* 80 KM race with Syrocco Cadence, and finished fifth in the CEI3* 160 KM race with Syrocco Harmony. Sleeper and Syrocco Cadence finished second at the Biltmore Challenge in the CEI3* 160 KM race. She then scored a win at the Fort Howes Endurance Ride in the CEI1* 80 KM with Syrocco Harmony, as well as finishing third in the CEI3* 160 KM race on Syrocco Reveille.
At that year’s North American Endurance Team Challenge, Sleeper finished second out of 43 against some of the best riders on the continent in the CEI3* 160 KM race. To round off the year, she finished first in the NJTRA Mustang Memorial CEI1* 80 KM race with Syrocco Harmony and second in the Goethe Benefit Challenge CEI2* 120 KM race with Syrocco Reveille.
In 2012, Sleeper and Syrocco Reveille finished 16th in the CEI3* 160 KM USA Team Trial Race. She then had a sixth-place finish with Syrocco Rabia in the CEI1* 80KM race at Foxcatcher. Sleeper then represented the U.S. in the FEI World Endurance Championship, finishing 11th individually aboard Syrocco Reveille and aiding the team to a fourth-place finish.
Sleeper kicked off 2013 with a second-place finish at FITS in the CEI3* 160 KM race with Syrocco Harmony. She then participated in the 2013 CEI2* test event for the 2014 Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, gaining valuable experience over the Mont Saint Michel terrain. Later that year, she added another CEI3* win to her resume aboard Syrocco Cadence in Berwick, Canada.
In 2014, Sleeper is in good form, having finished third in the FITS CEI3* 160 KM race with Syrocco Cadence.
Outside of endurance, Sleeper is a veterinary cardiologist working at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Because of her busy schedule, Sleeper’s husband, Dave Augustine, does the majority of the conditioning and preparation of the horses for their competitions.