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Mongolia: WA rider triumphs in world's toughest race
Au.news.yahoo.com - Full Article

NATALIE BROWN The West Australian
August 14, 2014, 2:01 am

As horse rider Sam Jones headed for the remote Mongolian savanna for the endurance ride of her life, her mentor gave her some words of advice - look out for yourself and hope for good luck.

Kirsten Melis said she knew Jones, 40, had the riding skills to finish the world's longest horse race, but as she became the first Australian to win the Mongol Derby, Melis said Jones also "had lady luck on her side".

Yesterday an exhilarated Jones beat 47 other international competitors in the 1000km endurance race - said to be the toughest course in the world - in which riders race semi-wild horses picked up from remote stations along the route...

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Mongol Derby Race Report - Day 7
Theadventurists.com - Full Story

After a day 6 dominated by unruly horses, day 7 will be remembered for some great riding. The back four riders of Ann-Therese Helgesson, Jade Sevelow-Lee Michelle Jarvis, and Alison Wilson spent the night out in the mountains but according to Anna, vet at HS17 they arrived 'strong and cheerful'.

'Bullet' Our head horseman Unenburen said this of Jade as she thundered past. Apparently she'd requested a fast horse which explains the message she sent at the end of the day:

“Rode over 100k today. Black eye, bloody nose from bad stumble while riding. Still sitting tall though. Tired, but tall. Thanks to everyone sending good vibes!

— Jade

Two other riders reported to be flying were Musse Hasselvall and Mikael Eriksson who took just 2 hours 20 to ride from HS17 to HS18. Heather Russell and Chris Berkers also rode well, through HS19 gained at least an hour on Anita and Rose... Read more here:

Mongol Derby Race Report - Day 6
Theadventurists.com - Full Story

This morning began with riders spread over 6 horse stations (about 250 km). With some of the toughest legs to ride and some of the feistiest horses this was always going to be a big day.

We had two early retirements with Per Michanek and Anna Christina De Jonquieres throwing in the towel.

Mid-afternoon saw another dropout, the previously unshakeable Amy Wallace-Whelan who was thrown from her horse on leg 17. It quickly became apparent that the horses at this particular Urtuu were eating something more than Weetabix for their morning feed.

While most riders fall at some point during the derby it seemed for many this point would be from HS16. The leg was all the more challenging for the high pass to be crossed. A couple of the fiesty stallions also broke free and decided to run home...

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Mongol Derby Race Report - Day 5
Theadventurists.com - Full Story

The leading pack has shrunk to 7 riders, the main pack has swollen to 20, there was a muddy bog for some, another involuntary dismount and one more withdrawal. Here’s the Day 5 race report... For race positions see the Day 5 Leaderboard. Michelle Jarvis and Alison Wilson leave Horse Station 12.

Michelle Jarvis and Alison Wilson leave Horse Station 12.

The front runners made it to Horse Station 19 but Mary Lee and Catherine Stott have fallen a leg behind today and find themselves at 18 overnight.

11 km out of station 16 Mary Lee came off her horse. Unfortunately she couldn’t catch it before it ran back to its home station but Mary is clearly determined to stay with the leaders. She went back to the station and was eventually reunited with her tack and picked herself a new horse. Tackling the same ground again, including a mountain pass, on her own must have been tough but even though she lost at least 2 hours she remains in contention...

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Mongol Derby Race Report - Day 3
Theadventurists.com - Full Story

Action at the front

Day 3 on the derby and some strong partnerships are forming but it's the solo riders who are looking the strongest. Near the front Madison Kauffman and Lisa Youngwerth are looking inseparable, while Chris Maude and Jamie Peel have been joined by Rob Skinner who is looking more formidable now that he's navigating better.

The favourites right now though are possibly Sam Jones, Mary Lee and Brent Aulbino. Most significantly Sam who rode like a banshee all day and comfortably negated the penalty she picked up on day 1. All the riders at HS11 tonight got in with enough time to serve any penalties so will all leave together in the morning.

Proving that age should be no barrier to adventurism is Barbara Smith despite being the oldest rider in the field she is comfortably holding her own with the youngsters up front. This morning she had to contend with her steed falling while stepping into a marmot hole, which she quickly bounced back from...

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Mongol Derby Race Report - Day 2
Theadventurists.com - Full Article

It's been a long old day on the steppe, made to feel even longer for those bombarded by torrents of rain. At one point the downpour became so heavy we were forced to move HS5 to higher ground.

The day started so well for Sam Jones didn't pan out as well as could be hoped after she lost her Spot Tracker while taking what should've been a short cut across the hills before HS7.

The rules dictate she could not advance until being reunited with her tracker and 12 riders overtook her while she was waiting for a support vehicle to retrieve the missing tech. To add insult to injury she will have to carry a one hour time penalty for outside assistance.

It'll be a disappointment for Sam who's gamble of camping on the steppe last night very nearly paid big dividends as she spent much of the day half a station ahead. The setback shouldn't prove too injurious as it's hard to keep a good rider down...

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Mongolia: World's Toughest Horse Race Retraces Genghis Khan's Postal Route
PHOTOGRAPH BY CHARLES VAN WYK, THE ADVENTURISTS News.Nationalgeographic.com - Full Article

Ashleigh N. DeLuca
National Geographic

Before most of the world woke up this morning, 47 riders from around the globe had saddled half-wild horses and set out on what the Guinness Book of World Records has called the longest equestrian race on Earth.

The goal—beyond not getting seriously injured—is to ride a 621-mile circuit (1,000 kilometers) of Mongolian steppe in less than ten days.

Fewer than half of the riders are expected to make it across the finish line. The rest will either quit or be carried off the course by the medical team. Broken bones and torn ligaments are common, frustration and bruised egos the norm. Every rider will fall off multiple times during the course of the race, says Katy Willings, the race chief and a former Mongol Derby competitor.

The race route is modeled on the horse relay postal system created under Genghis Khan in 1224, which was instrumental in the expansion of the Mongolian Empire. Guided by a local escort, specially appointed postal riders would gallop more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) to a morin urtuu, or horse relay station, where another escort would be waiting with a fresh horse...

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