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2022 Mongol Derby: the greatest test of horsemanship and survival skill on earth

Oregonian thunders across Patagonia in epic horse race

OPB.org - Read and Listen to full story

By Elizabeth Castillo (OPB)
March 23, 2022 5 a.m.

Brenda Johnson is an avid adventurer. Earlier this month, she spent time thundering through South America’s Patagonia region on horseback. Johnson rode in this year’s Gaucho Derby. The race is billed as the “greatest test of horsemanship and wilderness skills on Earth.”

“I love being out in the woods with the animals and pushing myself and exploring and finding new places,” she said.

Johnson, of Wallowa County, is a live-in ranch hand, backcountry packer, horseshoer and veterinary assistant...

Read and listen here:

Gaucho Derby: Race Day 8 – And we have the winners

Equestrianists.com - Full Article

Tom Morgan
11th March 2022

It’s been eight solid days of racing excitement here in Patagonia and this evening Anna Boden and Holly Conyers joined hands and rode over the finish line 45 minutes from cutoff time to claim a joint first place win. They hoisted a celebratory beer with the stunning Mt Fitz Roy in the background – a fitting end to the adventure of a lifetime.

These two ladies have ridden as a team since Day 1, had weather extremes thrown at them, navigated up and down mountains and survived the Meseta de la Muerta (Plateau of Death) – a bleakly beautiful windswept plateau between VC9 and VC10...

Read more here:

Gaucho Derby: Race Day 3, Navigation, navigation, navigation

Equestrianists.com - Full Article

Tom Morgan
8th March 2022

Some lucky riders who camped out awoke to an incredible sunrise, after a night of watching masses of shooting stars. There’s no smog and light pollution in this pristine country.

Whereas crew were awoken to pings from other not so lucky riders.

Jaco Storm (JST) was busily sending intel into Race Headquarters at the crack of dawn. The conversation went like this...

“Lost Horse”.

22mins later…

“Got him”.

6mins later…

“Gone again”.

30mins later…

“Can’t catch yet”...

Read more here:

Gaucho Derby: Race Day 2, Into the Wild

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Tom Morgan
5th March 2022

All the riders awoke to a cold, wet, snowy, sleety and windy morning at Horse Station 2. Charming… But by all accounts, the riders had slept well and were warm enough overnight.

However, unfortunately Camilla Shepherd (CSH) has chosen to self-retire from the race.

Holly Conyers (HCO), Kirsteen Thain (KTH), Holly Chamberlain (HCH), Rosie Bathurst (RBA) and My Nordström were the first to cruise out of Station 2 ahead of the rest.

The riders will ride a total of 7 horses throughout the 500km race with the first horse change to take place at Station 3. The rider’s good navigation skills meant they arrived promptly into this station, where they vetted their current horses through...

Read more here:

Gaucho Derby: Race Day 1, aaaand they’re off

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Tom Morgan
5th March 2022

35 Riders lined up and charged out into the wilderness to contest in the second annual Gaucho Derby on the 3rd of March 2022. A mix of tension, excitement and anticipation were buzzing at the start line. Strong winds and the feel of foreign saddlebags were keeping these fit and fiery horses on the tips of their hooves. Some mounts gave their riders a small taste of what could be in store for them over the next 10 days. Mackenzie Stabler’s (MST) bucking bronco decided the start line wasn’t for him and took off with all her belongings.

Although each rider was given traditional gaucho tack, many modified it to suit their needs and the chosen range of clothing and apparel varied greatly, from neutrals to neons, they donned it all...

Read more here:

Patagonia: 36 Riders Head to Gaucho Derby Starting Line

36 riders from 15 countries - Mexico, USA, UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Ireland, Chile, Netherlands, Canada, South Africa, Kenya, and Hong Kong - will take part in the 2022 Gaucho Derby.

Billed as "The greatest test of horsemanship on earth," riders will navigate over some of the "wildest terrain on earth" a 10-day, 500-km multi-horse adventure over the mountains and pampas of Patagonia.

The race starts March 3.

Meet the riders here:

Horse racing re-invented

Imagine yourself thundering deep into the wilds of Patagonia on horseback. You’ve got your steed and, in some sections, a pack horse. You’re navigating across some of the wildest terrain on Earth attempting to win one of the toughest and most unusual equine challenges in history.

After running the Mongol Derby for a decade we knew it was time to grow the new sport of ultra-endurance horse racing we had created. So we went in search of the next world beating adventure. We’ve not replicated The Mongol Derby with new scenery but designed a new race from the ground up – based on the landscape, culture, history and horses of Patagonia and the Gauchos. This is the greatest test of horsemanship and wilderness skills on Earth. This is the pioneers Gaucho Derby....