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The World's Longest, Toughest Horse Race

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Ulaanbaatar photos by Sandra Fretelliere

Lara Prior-Palmer wins the Mongol Derby 2013 in dramatic fashion

Lara Prior-Palmer chasing Devan Horn on the last leg of the Mongol Derby, 10th Aug 2013. She started the leg around 10 minutes behind
Mongolderbyblog - Full Story!

10 August 2013

1000km horse race across Mongolia is won by female rider for the first time in 5 editions

• First rider across the line Devan Horn fails vet inspection after riding ‘near immaculate race’ and incurs 2 hour penalty handing dramatic victory to Lara who finished an hour later
• Half of the 30 riders who began the race have already withdrawn adding clout to the race’s claim to be the longest and toughest race on the planet

Read full recap here!

2013 Mongol Derby RACE REPORT: Day 6

Kirsten Melis is in hot pursuit of the two leaders on leg 18, 9th Aug 2013
Mongolderbyblog - Full Story

RACE REPORT: Day 6 – Friday 9th August


• 16 riders still officially racing from the 30 strong pack that started
• 1st placed Devan Horn just 1 hour 25 minutes ahead of Lara Prior-Palmer after another change of guard at the top – will the winner be crowned tomorrow?
• 5 more riders retire from the race
• See the full Day 6 leaderboard here
• Prometheus Medics kept busy dealing with heat exhaustion, gastrointestinal problems, bruising from being thrown from a horse, dehydration and minor injuries.

Read more here!

2013 Mongol Derby RACE REPORT: Day 5

Lara Prior-Palmer is all smiles getting in first to horse station 17, 8th Aug 2013
Mongolderbyblog - Full Story

08 August 2013


• British rider Lara Prior-Palmer overtakes USA’s Devan Horn to take the lead, but only just
• First and second placed riders separated by minutes at close of riding but will a potential time penalty for Lara have a major impact on who wins the race?
• Lara Prior-Palmer rides 4.5 legs in one day – possibly a Mongol Derby record at 160km
• Four riders withdraw from the race and head back to Ulaanbaatar
• Several riders accept assistance or lift forward and ride on ‘hors concours’ (riding but not officially still in the race for a leaderboard position)

Read the Day 5 Leaderboard for final positions at the end of racing and individual rider status.

Read the full report here!

2013 Mongol Derby RACE REPORT: Day 4

L to R, Natacha Lazareff, Hannah Bronwin, Barbara Seele, Anthony Ward-Thomas and Inge Rall-Behm ride down to Ogii Nuur on leg 9, 7th Aug 2013
Mongolderbyblog - Full Report

7 August 2013

• Devan Horn’s lead cut to just 10km by chasing Brit Lara Prior-Palmer
• Another 3 riders just one leg (40km) off the lead
• Female dominance at the top of the leaderboard continues
• Riders start taking more tumbles from the semi-wild Mongolian horses but no serious injuries
• Physical strain starting to show across the pack after 4 days of racing

Race Summary

There are 15 riders bringing up the rear of the leaderboard en masse tonight all staying at Horse Station 9; probably the most picturesque of all the stations next to a stunning lake. Tomorrow they’ll enjoy a striking ride around that lake and we’ll see if this large group splits up again...

Read full recap here:

2013 Mongol Derby RACE REPORT: Day 3

Leader Devan Horn’s mount kicks up the dirt leaving horse station 7, 6th Aug 2013
Mongolderbyblog - Full Report

Today’s Headlines:

• Devan Horn still out in front but lead reduced – at one point down to just one hour
• Chasing pack of 4 have cut Devan’s lead
• Top 6 on the leaderboard all female riders
• Trailing group from Day 1 now up with a pack of 15 riders in remarkable recovery

Race Commentary

Katy Willings, Mongol Derby Race Chief:

“Up front we have Devan Horn who is camped out between Horse Stations 9 and 10, so she has passed through the first penalty station (9) and hasn’t incurred single penalty, everything she’s done has been perfect...

Read full report here:

2013 Mongol Derby RACE REPORT: Day 2

Ivo Marloh and his mount leave horse station 3, 5th Aug 2013
Mongolderbyblog - Full Article

August 5 2013

After a relatively quiet day 1, day 2 of the Mongol Derby is back to its spicy self. Following an extremely hot day 1, day 2 was cold, wet and windy. A perfect test for the riders we think. We caught up with Derby chief Katy for her run-down on the day’s activity.


• Top 6 riders are all ladies 70km ahead of the main pack • Devan Horne’s lead diminshes through the afternoon
• First retirement German rider Matthias Lochthofen
• Tom Burk soldiers on with his pre-race injuries
• First penalties metered out for late riding

Read the full recap here!:

2013 Mongol Derby RACE REPORT: Day 1

Left to right: Katie Vincent, Tamara Huddleston and Lydia Wood enjoy the first leg of the Mongol Derby, 4th August 2013
Mongolderbyblog - Full Article

Sunday August 4 2013

A round up of the first day of the world’s toughest horse race.

• 21 year old Texan Devan Horne the only rider to reach Horse Station 3, finishing Day 1 a full leg ahead of the chasing pack
• 25 out of 30 riders make it to Horse Station 2
• First day remarkably uneventful – no serious injuries or major falls; a huge change from last year’s race start when two riders retired through injury on Day 1
• Matthias Lochthofen from Germany passes out on the start line but bounces back and starts the Derby just one hour later
• 23 year old American Tom Burk suffers wrestling injury at launch party but bravely battles on to reach Horse Station 2
• The weather ranges from incredibly hot and clear to a rainstorm and plummeting temperatures by early evening

Full Day's Report!:

Posts from USA rider Devan Horn:

Saturday August 3

Devan got thru on the phone again earlier this morning so she asked us to give another FB update. Over in Mongolia it is the night before the start (they are 13 hours ahead of US Central Daylight Time) and she called from the pre-ride Mongolian banquet. Seems that she has a new-found love of leg-of-lamb and said it was great.

She said that she loves it there and feels like she’s in her element around the Mongolian ponies. While she does miss hot showers and toilets, so far being dirty and the lack of showering hasn’t bothered her. She said she never wants to come home.

Earlier today they did a short GPS training/test ride. She had a blast and did ok. She picked her own pony out of the line and decided to ride on a small tough-looking guy with one ear and a wonky leg, a general badass I guess. Well she said he ran away with her in “sort of the right direction” and it took her about a mile to regain some semblance of “control”. She said she was loving it and she really likes riding the ponies. (Of course I’m thinking that she may not feel that way a few days from now, but what do I know? LOL.)

She is having an absolutely great time and is really excited to start. I suspect that she won’t sleep much tonight. The start is at 10:00am Sunday morning in Mongolia, which is 9:00pm Saturday night US CDT.

You can follow Devan’s progress via the web on the following locations:

Live map tracking: http://www.theadventurists.com/the-adventures/mongol-derby/teams/texan-temujin

Organizer’s blog (which is also on FB):


Friday August 2:
This is a report from Devan via her parents with whom she just spoke. She is at the start camp which is about 4 hours outside Ulaanbaatar. She has ridden her first pony and described the experience in a nut shell as "meant to be". Devan said that in terms of how the pony handled, riding it was like breathing. She is as always having the time of her life. She will not be able to post on FB but will have cell phone service sometimes so we will post for her as often as she can get information to us. I don't think saying we are proud parents really covers it.

July 31:
Mongol Day 2: Naran Tul and Bus Rides!

My second and last free day in the capitol started with a trip to Naran Tul, the local black market. This market is so large, it regularly hosts 60k people and sells everything you could possibly imagine. I spent hours there, occasionally meeting up with a couple of riders, and promptly getting lost in the rows of stalls. In the afternoon, I amused myself with more walking of the city, and riding the different busses. Bus fair is about 10 cents American, and a great way to learn and meet people. This evening, about ten of us met for drinks at the Ramada’s bar. The first day of Derby Training starts tomorrow! I find Ulaan Bator fascinating and exciting…but I am more than ready to start riding!!!

July 30
Day 1: The flight and the capitol!

My flight from Houston to Beijing was awesome, mostly because I got 3 seats in a row empty, so I shamelessly slept the whole way. I got held up in the Beijing Airport because I had to wait for the ticketing office to open, and then because security wanted to check my entire derby kit piece by piece (I assume to make sure I didn’t forget anything!). I could write a novel about Ulaanbator. Think 80’s industrial city, surrounded by a slum where every other house is actually a felt tent! Horses, cows, dogs, and birds weave through traffic and people even in the city’s heart. The dogs are smart-they look both ways before crossing the street and know that I am soft hearted/carrying beef jerky. I don’t think there are any traffic laws here at all. I hiked for about 4 hours today exploring the city and people watching. The food pretty much sucks-I’m going to have to stop sharing my jerky with the feral dogs!

July 28
Well, I'm sitting in the Houston Airport, about to say goodbye to US soil for the 3rd time this year. My parents and Scott drove me to the airport and turned me loose. I raised a little hell trying to get packed today-may or may not have committing a 3rd degree felony. I guess its a good thing I'm going to Mongolia! Great way to start my trip! I'm so freaking excited!!!

Mongol Derby: Less Than Two Week Away


The "longest, toughest, horse race in the world" is coming up, August 4-14, 2013, the Mongol Derby, a 1000-km multi-horse race across the Mongolian steppe. It's a recreation of Genghis Khan's legendary postal system.

Pre-race training will take place August 1-3, and the race will start August 4th. The race is expected to end August 13-14.

US endurance riders Lynne Gilbert and Devan Horn, and former-US-now-French endurance rider Sandra Fretelliere will participate.

Photo Gallery

2011 Mongol Derby - the Longest, Toughest Horse Race in the World

The Mongol Derby is the longest, toughest horse race in the world. It's the Khaan's mother of equine adventures, a 1000 km multi-horse race across the epic wilderness of the Mongolian steppe. Its mammoth network of horse stations is a recreation of Chinggis Khaan's legendary empire-busting postal system.

This is a whole new breed of horse racing, the greatest equine adventure on earth. Just you, the vast steppe, the thunder of hooves and 1000 kilometres.

Each year we select and train around 1000 semi-wild Mongolian horses for just 20 or so riders. Each rider tackles the 1000 km adventure, changing steeds every 40 kms as Chinggis' messengers once did. So while the horses skip away as fresh as a daisy you feel the full force of 10 days of saddle pounding and living in the wilderness.

2011 Mongol Derby Results

World’s longest horse race comes to nail biting finish

www.theadventurists.com Photo
Asiancorrespondent.co - Full Article

By Jo Lane Aug 23, 2011

The 1,000 kilometre long Mongol Derby of 2011 was won by just two minutes after a 10 day ride across the vast Mongolian steppe on semi-wild horses.

South African rider Craig Egberink claimed the victory even after losing all his kit and equipment just 48 hours into the event.

His victory over Chinese rider Sanbayier (a Mongolian name by all accounts) came just two kilometres before the finish line.

Craig Egberink, eventual winner of the Mongol Derby 2011 on the course. Image from www.theadventurists.com

From travel4press.co.uk:

At the penultimate horse station with just one stage and approximately 40 kilometres to go, four riders set out on the morning of Saturday 13th August to fight it out for the finish line.

Craig Egberink and the three riders from China, David Ha, Bayinmuenke and Sanbayier rode together until they were 12 kilometres from the finish. At that point Sanbayier “decided to make a race of it” according to Craig and when they were just 2 kilometres out there was still nothing separating them until a final tactical decision decided the outcome of the Derby.

As they approached the end a final hill lay between the two leader and victory. “He had some advice to go up the hill and I shot up over it and just beat him to the finish line” explains Craig.

After seven days, 8 riders withdrawing, extreme conditions and around 1000 kilometres of racing across the Mongolian wilderness, Craig won by just two minutes...

Read more here:

The Mongol Derby 2011 Has Been Won

by Mr Tom on: 13 Aug 2011

After a week of adventures, injuries and some of the toughest horse riding in the world we have a winner. Craig Egberink of South Africa who led the field for most of the race has crossed the line in first place. In what turned out to be a nail bitting finish Sanbayier who had been catching up over the last few days of the Derby crossed the line just 2 minutes later to claim second place. Below is the listing at the moment. These take a while to calculate with accuracy as we have to cross check all the results and timings from each station. As soon as we can give you full details we will publish them live here.

All the riders are now at the finish and the 2011 Mongol Derby has come to a close.

1st Craig Egberink
2nd Sanbayier
3rd and 4th Bayinmuenke & David Ha (positions to be confirmed)
5th Jo Dawson

Crossing Sunday around midday was a group of 7 riders (positions to be confirmed):
Owen Patterson
Rose Patterson
Olivia Swingland
Kevin Pricemoor
Richard Allen
Tyga Helme
Jason Tse

Coming in towards the end of Sunday our last 3 riders crossed the line,
Sophia Mangalee
Frederique Schut
Ronald Van Der Velden

Of the 23 riders who started this year's Mongol Derby, only the 15 riders in bold above were still in the competitive race for the finish.

Riders who did not make the finish-line on a horse (they are all fine and most are at the finish line now for the party tonight):
Paul Erskine
Regina Bueno Ros
Borja Jimenez
Cara Barnes
Tommy Tsui
Marcus & Sarah Chenevix-Trench
Barry Armitage

Mongol Derby Trailer

Meanwhile, in Outer Mongolia...

Sluggerotoole.com - Full Article

Pete Baker, Tue 16 August 2011

If you were wondering where the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, was [You were?! - Ed], he’s been in Mongolia [In a yurt! - Ed]. A “ger” actually. The NI Secretary of State is one of 23 riders, including his wife Ruth Paterson, who have taken part in the third Adventurists’ Mongol Derby – a 1,000 km multi-horse race over 10 days on the Mongolian steppes which began on the 6th August using “around 1000 semi-wild Mongolian horses” the Adventurists “select and train”, and changing horses at urtuus spaced at 40km along the 10o0km un-route.

The controversy surrounding the inaugral Mongol Derby in 2009 among endurance riders appears to have alleviated. And the official Derby site does note that the weight limit on equipment was halved in 2010.

There is a 5kg weight limit on equipment, so you’ll have to travel light. This may sound like very little but in 2009 the weight limit was 10 kg and riders soon discovered they needed far less than they had brought with them.

And there were other changes.

In 2009 a world class team of vets from Mongolia, Scotland, New Zealand and South Africa provided superb care for the horses taking part in the Mongol Derby. In 2010 the top class veterinary care will be provided by three emergency response vets from Massey University in New Zealand, as well as our 18 specially trained equine vets from Mongolia.

Though it’s difficult to get confirmation of official statements in such a remote event...

Read more here:

Northern Ireland: Minister's race plan raises £50,000

Belfasttelegraph.co.uk - Full Article
Sunday, 24 July 2011

Almost £50,000 has been raised for injured soldiers and other good causes by the Northern Ireland Secretary's planned participation in the world's longest horse race.

Owen Paterson will ride 1,000km (621 miles) across one of the world's last great wildernesses in the Mongolian steppe next month. The Mongol Derby is modelled on warrior Genghis Khan's legendary system for communicating across his vast empire.

Mr Paterson and his wife Rose have been raising money for the Royal Irish Benevolent Fund, the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries and a Mongolian charity.

He said: "We have been stunned by the generosity of the people of Northern Ireland who have shown really incredible support for the Royal Irish Benevolent Fund. So far we have raised £47,500 and we are tantalisingly close to our goal of £50,000."

Three soldiers from the regiment were killed during their recent tour of Afghanistan and another 16 were severely injured.

The Conservative MP said: "The work of the benevolent fund supporting members, their widows and children is very important. That's why we are delighted that people have given so generously. It is starting to sink in that we are going to be riding 60 miles a day for 10 days on semi-trained horses, which is quite a daunting prospect, so in the final weeks we are really stepping up our training..."

Read more here: