Mongolian riders have made their mark in the world’s toughest horse race, finishing first and joint second in the second running this year of the Mongol Derby. After a two-year absence, the world’s longest and toughest horse race, The Mongol Derby, was run twice this year to make up for lost time because of Covid.
The first race in July was won by American Deirdre Griffith and South African Willemein Jooste, but the second edition had a more homely feel to it with Mongolia’s E.Uuganbayar taking the honours at the weekend, ahead of compatriot B.Erdensukh in joint second place with Victoria Wang.
Based on the ancient horse messenger system used by Chinggis Khaan, in a country where the horse is king, at 1000km the Derby is the toughest test on the planet for equestrian endurance riders.
Whilst horses are changed at checkpoints about every 35km, riders must endure being in the saddle for up to 200km a day and face the challenges of riding more than 28 semi-wild horses, with varying temperaments and bucking abilities, the inevitable falls and mishaps that happen along the way and navigating through challenging terrain, from giant sand dunes to freezing mountain passes. The 13th Mongol Derby kicked off on 10 August with truly international field; 46 riders from 12 nations