Interesting, charming, enthusiastic, adventurous, smart, witty – all descriptors that immediately come to mind when you meet Sarah Sanford.
As an impressive outdoorswoman who grew up with three brothers on a quail plantation in Beaufort, South Carolina, Sarah learned early to appreciate friendly competition and outdoor explorations of all sorts. While dirt and mud never bothered her, she has always liked to dress up and host a cocktail party, too.
After graduating from Furman University where she studied English, Sarah went on to embark upon numerous once-in-a-lifetime trips and accomplishments. In no particular order, she received her Masters degree from the American Graduate School of International Management, traveled the world as a guide for fly fishing and shooting, was part of the media coverage team for the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing in 2000, covered the Iditarod Trail sled dog races for five consecutive years in Alaska, was hired by ESPN2 as the first female correspondent, was part of the launch team for the Outdoor Life Network (now NBC Sports Network or NBCSN), married the love of her life, Beaufort Mayor Bill Rauch, and became the mother to two boys, Nick and Sandy.
Sarah is now a shooting instructor for the Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club, where she played a huge role in launching the course and club structure. The course currently consists of 13 sporting clay stations, an elevated and covered five-stand plus a separate oscillating wobble deck. She still lives on the land she grew up on and has turned it into a working plantation with seasonal hunting as well as a timber operation. Sarah and her two sons also actively collect historical artifacts from around their property and plan to display their collection in one of the property’s old smokehouses. To say the least, Sarah is an inspiring person with an inviting and kind demeanor. She has learned that following your true passions will lead to a life of fulfillment and happiness.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF PERFECT HAPPINESS?
A: Being anywhere with my family. I covet my time with family and friends, specifically in a kitchen with lots of noise, wagging tails and slamming doors.
Q: WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND AS YOU DRIVE TO WORK EACH MORNING?
A: It’s almost like a feeling of coming home. It’s very similar to the land I grew up on. I just get it. I’m really a part of the land here. I mean, I work out of a tent!
Q: AND ON THE WAY HOME?
A: How can I fly from here so I don’t have to drive all the way back to Beaufort?
Q: WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE?
A: Traveling. We go on an adventure every year. In August 2016, we went to Cody, Wyoming, through Yellowstone National Park and on to Jackson Hole and then stayed at Montage Deer Valley in Utah.
Q: WHAT MOVIE WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TO FRIENDS?
A: Bowfinger with Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy.
Q: IF THERE WERE A MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE CALLED AND WHICH ACTOR WOULD PLAY YOU?
A: I’d love to have a great answer, but the truth is, I’m probably made for reality TV more than for movies. Think about it, I live on a Southern plantation with two boys, uncountable dogs, a barn full of horses, umpteen nephews, a New Yorker husband, my 92-year-old mom … and I’m a shooting instructor! You can’t make that up.
Q: WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
A: Every mother says their kids are their greatest achievements, and mine are certainly remarkable and definitely my greatest achievements, but aside from that, I did everything I wanted to do in a television career before I had kids and then created life-after-kids. I’m really happy with my life!
Q: WHAT IS YOUR MOST MARKED CHARACTERISTIC?
A: That I genuinely like people and have a great sense of humor about myself and my life.
Q: WHAT IS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?
A: Do you consider reading out loud to my kids?! We just finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Q: IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE “SUPER POWER,” WHAT WOULD IT BE? HOW WOULD YOU USE IT AT WORK?
A: Well, I don’t need to worry about walking through walls since I work in a tent, and we have no walls! Bionic vision would make my shot better … but I’m still going to hold onto being able to fly home.
Q: WHEN YOU’RE NOT HERE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
A: A lot of work on the farm. We find all kinds of artifacts out there, and there’s always more to explore.
Q: WHAT WORD DO YOU USE THE MOST?
A: Around my kids, “No.” Anywhere else, “Sure, we can make that happen.”
Q: WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
A: The absurdities of life on a daily basis can make you mad, sad or anxious, but I choose to laugh.
Q: TOP FIVE SONGS ON YOUR PLAYLIST?
A: “Fight Song” by Katy Perry would be one (it makes me want to punch the air and feel like a rock star!). I usually listen to country music in the car. In my ear buds, especially while running, I listen to “Dancing with Wolves” radio on Pandora, and I have so much fun listening to it. I find it inspiring! Music has really helped me get through a lot in life.
Q: FAVORITE SPOT ON THE BLUFF?
A: Anywhere along the May River. Although, it’s also very special to be in Moreland in the morning as the sun comes up. And there’s also this little dirt road toward the back of the Palmetto Bluff Shooting Club that has a cathedral of trees that’s beautiful.
Q: BEST PALMETTO BLUFF MOMENT?
A: This is a hard one because there have been so many great moments. The Palmetto Bluff experience in general is so special, connecting with the land and the people. I interact with a lot of remarkable people out here.
Written by Amanda Baran Cutrer
Photos by Krisztian Lonyai