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2018 Mongol Derby: the world's toughest race

12/3: Australia: Wild Ride: Former NT stationhand’s crazy time during Mongol Derby

10/30: Mongol Derby: The Ride of Her Life

10/8: Eion Kemp takes 16th place in Mongolia's toughest horse race

9/8: Photos | Hurstville real estate agent follows in the steps of Genghis Khan in the world’s toughest horse race

8/24: South County: South River High grad raises $4,000 while completing Mongol Derby

8/20: Australian takes out Mongolia Derby with British riding mate

8/17: Mongol Derby 2018

8/17: Following in Genghis Khan’s hoofsteps, Wangaratta horse trainer conquers the world’s toughest race in Mongolia

8/16: Khan-do spirit helps Briton win Mongol Derby

8/16: Mongol Derby Day 8: Yes She Khan, and Yes She Did!

8/16: Australian team wins extreme endurance horse race in Mongolia

8/16: Mongolia: Jockey produces ride of her life to win world's longest horse race

8/16: Annabel Neasham from Bicester wins Mongol Derby

Mongol Derby Race Report: Day 7: 2 Aussies Tie for Win

MongolDerby.com - Full Story

August 15, 2018

There we have it – the team of Annabel Neasham & Adrian Corboy have gone and done it: they’re joint winners of the tenth Mongol Derby. Adrian Corboy, leaving Australia for the first time in his life, had three weeks to lose nine kilos and do some packing when he stepped in for Ciaron Maher at the last minute. Neither he nor Annabel are endurance riders; Adrian backs and breaks racehorses, while Annabel is a CCI* level eventer from the UK who now works for Ciaron Maher racing in Australia. And yet they beat a field of experienced riders which included DH – a very experienced endurance rider from the USA who was here to compete in her third derby. How did they do it?

When the gun went, DH [Devan Horn] shot to the front as expected. As in previous years she raced hard, choosing horses that looked fast but also looked as if they might have fire in their bellies. AC and AN took a different approach. They had a strategy from the start, Adrian said, and despite being under a lot of pressure, first catching DH and then after DH was awarded the pivotal vet penalty, maintaining their lead. As ever, horse selection was key, as Annabel pointed out at the finish line:

“I think horse selection was a big thing – we got good at picking horses. You’ve got to pick a horse with a bit of length to it, a deep girth and a good shoulder that shows a few ribs. A lot of people said before we left that we should skip the racing ponies. They’re the skinny ones. We had a go with a couple of those but they’re on the steal all the time and they burn too much petrol early on. So it was about picking the herder’s own horse that they use to go and check the herd because they’re fit...”

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8/15: A Wild Ride

8/15: Ciaron Maher proud of mate's efforts in 2018 Mongol Derby

8/15: Victorian pair claim Mongolian Derby

8/15: Ciaron Maher proud of mate's efforts in 2018 Mongol Derby

8/15: Australia's Maher workers take honours in Mongol Derby

Mongol Derby Race Report – Day 4 MongolDerby.com - Full Recap

August 12, 2018

If yesterday (day 3) was the tipping point, today there was plenty of evidence that the race has changed from a light hearted chase at the front and a jolly at the back, to a deadly serious hunt for the front runners and some at the back of the field hanging on for dear life.

DH at the front ended the day still at the front of the race and just 1.5 kilometres short of urtuu 18, but with a 2 hour vet penalty and a late riding penalty. She was vetted where she stopped by head vet Pat Sells – a rule change introduced this year to ensure that horses are checked wherever riders stop for the night when they stop.

Today saw the retirement of one of the most popular riders this year, and the youngest – SN. After racing for four days and the best part of 500 kilometres in head-to-toe borrowed kit (riding clothes, helmet, stirrups and leathers – the lot), rolling with his horse in the mud and charming all and sundry, we are very sad to report that SN has called it a day. We are also sorry to report that FA has retired with a broken collarbone incurred in a bad fall yesterday. RB & MB both took carry forwards and the concurrent three hour time penalties to catch up with the back of the field – MB unable to encourage his tired horse to go forwards, RB suffering from general wear and tear. All of these competitors are serious riders – this race is no joke...

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Mongol Derby: Devan Horn Leads at About Halfway Point; Maddie Smith Out

August 12 2018

With roughly half the distance of the 10th annual 1000-km Mongol Derby distance completed for ongoing competitors, returning Mongol Derby veteran, Texan Devan Horn, had the lead at horse station 18. The horse she was riding failed the vet check (apparently failed to pulse down within 30 minutes), and she was out a "smidge" past racing hours, and as per vetting and rest-hour rules, she racked up a 2 hour 8 minute penalty which she'll sit at out HS 18, which should tighten up the leading pack.

This is Devan's third time to ride the Derby. In 2013 she crossed the finish line first, but ended up as runner-up when her horse didn't pulse down in time at the finish, and her incurred vet penalty allowed the second finisher to win. She returned for the 2015 race, but fell ill during it, and had to drop out. "She is she is riding as if there is unfinished business. Which of course there is," tweeted @Mongolderbylive.

With weather wreaking havoc on the ride management - a swollen river prevents them from driving across it and keeping up with the leading riders - the intrepid riders and horses continue onward.

The radical weather delayed the start of the Mongol Derby by a day. @mongolderbylive tweeted on August 11, "Even the more casual observers will have spotted that the riders have seen hail, flooding, storms, blazing sun and today it's cold & wet. One of the more challenging aspects of the race."

Californian Maddie Smith had a bad fall on Day 2, dislocating her shoulder and cracking her ribs. She was hoping to beat the Mongol Derby this year, after having had a fall in the 2016 Derby, where she sustained a concussion and could not continue. Maddie is staying on in Mongolia, and will be at the finish line, waiting to cheer in her comrades on the steppe.

44 riders from Australia, Botswana, Canada, Ireland, The Netherlands, Pakistan, Portugal, New Zealand, UK, Uruguay, South Africa, and the USA started in this year's edition.

More live updates at:

8/12: The Ride returns to H&C as Barry and Joe tackle the Mongol Derby

Aug 10: Fruita Native Competes in the Mongol Derby

PARROT MOUTH: Irish riders answer call of Mongolia

Aug 9: So Yeah, The Mongol Derby Is Not Your Average Trail Ride

Prairieville dental hygienist ready to trek through Asia in world's wildest, longest horse race

Mongolia: Ride of a lifetime

GJSentinel.com - Full Article

August 5 2018

You couldn't drag Christine Roberts away from wild horses. She is traveling thousands of miles to be with them, to compete in a world-famous endurance race she hopes to win and to experience something unlike anything she's ever done before.

Roberts will celebrate her 30th birthday by riding semi-wild horses more than 600 miles through the Mongolian steppe and competing in what the Guinness Book of World Records crowned the world's longest horse race.

Roberts, who first started riding horses as a little girl on her parents' farm north of Fruita, is an endurance racer who snagged one of the coveted spots in the Mongol Derby, a unique race chronicled in a documentary called "All the Wild Horses."

On Saturday, her birthday, she already will be on her fourth day of the race, which will take her and the other riders on an unmarked course across Mongolia, the largest landlocked country in the world. The race is a test of horsemanship, athleticism, endurance, navigation and sheer nerve. The course remains secret each year until the race begins, but each year's race pays tribute to Genghis Khan's network of horse messengers who crisscrossed his kingdom...

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Adventure of a lifetime awaits Tompkins County woman at Mongol Derby

Pressconnects.com - Full Article

Kevin Stevens, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
Aug. 2, 2018

Twelve days in Asian wilderness with temperatures ranging from frigid to sultry, aiming to cover 75 miles per day for nine in succession aboard semi-wild horses, replenishing on mutton, dumplings and fermented mare’s milk before sacking out on the base of a nomad’s yurt.

Belongings for the entirety of the expedition are restricted to 11 pounds, roughly the weight of a house cat. The likelihood of separation from those items stowed so meticulously in a bag affixed to the saddle is substantial, as the oft-skittish animals providing transportation rather fancy bucking free of human cargo and tearing off for parts unknown.

Diarrhea is as much a probability as drenching rain, throbbing limbs and utter exhaustion following each 13½-hour riding session.

Pam Karner will experience the above, by choice, and for the mere pittance of a $13,000 entry fee.

And damned if she isn’t pumped!...

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Road To The Mongol Derby: End Of The Road

Photo by TheAdventurists.com

Thoroughbreddailynews.com - Full Article

Monday, July 30, 2018
By Kelsey Riley

Nine months and a week after receiving the call that I was in, the road to the Mongol Derby has come to an end. on Wednesday, I board a plane to Ulan Bator and brace myself to be thrown into a seismic challenge that I’ve spent every day of the last 37 weeks preparing for, but that I know I could never be truly ready for.

To recap, the Mongol Derby is a 1000 kilometre (620 mile) race across the Steppes of Outer Mongolia on ‘semi-wild’ (aka varying definitions of broke) Mongolian horses. There is no marked course; we’ll navigate to each checkpoint by GPS and change horses every 40km. We’ll ride 14 hours a day for 10 days straight and camp out with the nomads (no showers), mimicking their lifestyle and diet. We’ll do all this with maximum 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of kit carried by saddlebag. Race training starts on Aug. 5, the starting gun fires on Aug. 8 and riders have until Aug. 17 to reach the finish line.

What has preparation looked like? First, seemingly endless winter months of galloping in the Lexington deep freeze, snow, and once even an ice storm. And suddenly, within about two days, riding out in the suffocating heat. Galloping racehorses turned out to be the best preparation I could have dreamed of in terms of fitness, strength, but most importantly, the confidence to jump on an unfamiliar steed and head off at full speed; the mantra of the Mongol Derby.

More recently, I’ve been fortunate to spend time at the beautiful Mt Brilliant Farm hacking their polo horses all over the farm. Truly brilliant for getting a feel for long hours in the saddle, which I believe became more a mental exercise than a physical one. Any spare moments were spent in the gym, researching or shopping for kit, or making frequent visits to the travel clinic for rounds of various inoculations (fun fact about me: I am now vaccinated against rabies-come at me wild dogs!)...

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Australia: Courtney takes on 400km ride to help break mental health stigma

The-Riotact.com - Full Article

By Ian Bushnell 31 July 2018

A Canberra public servant battling a debilitating illness plans to undertake a grueling endurance ride to raise money for a mental health charity.

Courtney Chapman from the Australian National Audit Office suffers from autoimmune illness Crohn’s disease, and has had her own demons to overcome, but she is not letting that stop her doing her bit for LIVIN, which aims to break the stigma and silence around mental health.

The 27-year-old Downer woman will attempt to ride 400 kilometres from 27 to 31 August in the Shahzada endurance event held in the Hawkesbury area of St Albans in New South Wales.

“It is a test of spirit, strength, resilience and communication with a creature with whom we share our life during the long hours and miles of training and competition. Spirit, strength and resilience are things you need to battle mental health challenges,” Courtney says...

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From Mogendoura, Australia, to Mongolia

NaroomaNewsOnline.com.au - Full Article

Duncan McLaughlin
July 24 2018

The Ghenghis Khan Highway, Ulan Bator, Mongolia. It’s not your standard postal address but will soon be Cele Stone’s, at least for a while.

The Mogendoura horsewoman is set to compete in two of the world’s great endurance events – the Mongol Derby and the Gobi Desert Cup – racing Mongolia’s native ponies across thousands of kilometres of steppe and desert. Cele said she was the last applicant accepted into this year’s Mongol Derby.

I think only one person has died.

“I didn’t have my acceptance interview until January … I wasn’t sure my experience would be enough,” Cele said. “I was terrified I would be accepted and I was terrified I wouldn’t.”

There was a lot riding on her acceptance, “I couldn’t keep on drinking more, eating more, caring less. I had to choose; choose to live or choose to die. I needed something big enough – scary enough! – to get me off the couch … The Mongol Derby is that...”

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Canada: Training for the Mongol Derby requires endurance — and lots of horses

CBC.ca - Full Article

Kelsey Opstad rides horses at Prince George facility from morning till night in preparation for big event

CBC News · Posted: Jul 23, 2018

Kelsey Opstad lies in bed at night, unable to sleep, as she ticks through the list of everything she needs to do before she leaves for Asia in a week.

Opstad, who is from Anchorage, Alaska, has been training at the B.C. Appaloosa Centre in Prince George since May in preparation for a 10-day horse race in Mongolia.

"I picked the B.C. Appaloosa Centre for the sheer number of horses," said Opstad, explaining that she can work with lots of younger, less experienced horses at the centre, which will more closely mimic the horses she'll be riding across the Mongolian plains.

The Mongol Derby, now in its ninth year, is a 1,000-kilometre equestrian endurance race. It is intended to recreate Genghis Khan's famous postal system.

Riders travel for 10 days to different checkpoints, 36 kilometres apart, at which point they switch horses. In all, racers ride 30 different horses...

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Mongolia Lessons in Utah

PracticalHorsemanMag.com - Full Story

Mongol Derby training with Christoph Schork resulted in more than lessons on endurance riding.

JUL 10, 2018

Feeling defeated, I slowed my horse to a walk as endurance rider and trainer Christoph Schork cantered ahead, out of ear shot as he weaved in and out of the patches of low brush. I was only 2½ hours into my first of three days of training with Christoph and my body seemed to be breaking down. My left ankle kept rolling in the stirrup, similar to when you’re walking and out of nowhere your ankle rolls. I felt unbalanced and unable to stay with my horse in anything other than a walk or sitting trot.

I’d also already run out of water. My measly 1.5-liter hydration pack had been drained in the 98-degree desert heat.

Once Christoph caught on that I was not in fact following on his tail, he stopped and we walked six miles back to his Global Endurance Training Center. I spent the ride scolding myself for signing up for the Mongol Derby when I couldn’t even last three hours on a well-trained horse in Moab, Utah. When we made it back, I apologized. Christoph answered slowly and deliberately with a smile. “We are here to build you up, not tear you down,” he said...

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The Timid Rider Takes Mongolia


Equestrian Author and Photographer to Attend the Gobi Desert Cup

[Red Bank, New Jersey July 9, 2018] Small business owner Heather Wallace is known as an animal massage therapist, author, equestrian blogger at The Timid Rider, and photographer. With a varied skill set and strong work ethic, she is most recently known for her best-selling book, HighwayMail.co.za - Full Article

Samantha Anderson is one of the lucky few who were chosen to tackle the intense Mongol Derby in late July.

July 7, 2018

SAMANTHA Anderson has swopped her 1909 Humber pedal cycle for ponies to tackle the gruelling 1 000km Mongol Derby.

The reason is, “Motorbikes can’t love you back,” joked Sam.

She took a leap of faith by adding her name to the pool of entrants wanting to take part in the Mongol Derby.

Sam said being accepted was a wake-up call as she had never ridden endurance on a horse and was faced with the exciting and stupidly daunting challenge of riding 1 000kms in 10 days on semi-wild Mongolian ponies with no comforts or support.

To go from zero to hero she enlisted the help of her family and friends.

“I owe a life time debt of gratitude to a number of people who have been amazingly generous to me,” said Sam. Her partner, Kevin Tebbutt, Dube Pricemoor, Craig Gillespie, Craig Egbrink, Pete Dommit, Mark and Elsa Fraser and Wiesman Nel have all helped. She said there were three she owed a special thanks to who have helped shape her abilities in preparation for the event.

“The first is Glynn Redgrave, an extremely talented horse whisperer who had the terrible job of trying to teach me to ride unbacked race horses at Summerveld in the hopes that I would learn to handle semi-wild ponies.”

After breaking three ribs in her first couple of weeks of training, Sam was undeterred and still trains with Glynn every Friday...

More at:

Mongol Derby: Aussie Cousins race to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis

ABC.net.au - Full Article

By Jennifer Browning
June 20 2018

Fancy sitting on a horse for 10 days, travelling 1,000 kilometres through gruelling terrain with temperatures ranging from -5 degrees Celsius to 35C?

Crazy right?

Not for one Australian family.

Henry Bell and his three cousins, Rob, Ed and Jack Archibald are gearing up to race the Mongol Derby in August.

They are doing it to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis, a disease that has left Henry's dad, Rob Bell, wheelchair-bound.

"The concept of the ride was the Archibald boys, they were the ones who decided to do it and Ed's been the big pusher of raising money and awareness for Dad on behalf of MS," Henry said.

Mr Bell, speaking from his property south of Goulburn, said his son's and nephews' efforts were "flattering".

"For me it was very heartening to know young people are so keen to get rid of this terrible disease," he said...

Read more here:

New Zealand: Waikato man gears up for the 1,000km Mongol Derby, the world's longest and toughest horse race

TVNZ.co.nz - Full Article

It's "one hell of a ride" but Waikato horse rider Eion Kemp says he's looking forward to competing in the world's longest and toughest horse race, the Mongol Derby.

It's raced over 1000 kilometres of some of the world's most gruelling terrain in Mongolia in August.

TVNZ1's Seven Sharp found Eion Kemp breaking in yearlings and two-year-olds at a farm at Matamata before they go on to a trainer.

In much the same way, Mr Kemp is about to be broken in, in the biggest riding challenge of his career.

"The Mongol Derby. The world's longest and toughest horse race. It's raced over 1000 kilometres through the steppes of Mongolia," he said...

Read more & see video here:

Aussie family taking part in the world’s toughest race

2gb.com - Full Article

June 4 2018

Four Australians are preparing to take part in the annual Mongol Derby, a 1000km trek labelled the world’s toughest horse race.

Henry Bell and his three cousins are raising money for Multiple Sclerosis, riding for Henry’s father Rob who suffers from the worst form of the disease.

When Rob was younger he was a fine horseman, so his son and nephews are hoping to do him proud and help find a cure.

Rob joins Alan Jones and says his diagnosis in 2011 came as a complete shock.

“It was five years before I knew something was wrong…spent the next five years finding what was wrong… it’s so cruel because it’s so slow...”

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Ireland: A ride on the wild side for jockey who won biggest race of his life

Independent.ie - Full Article

Donie Fahy won a gruelling horse race through Mongolia - 10 months after breaking his back, writes Hilary A White

Hilary A White
June 3 2018 6:30 PM

In order to get back in the saddle and win the most meaningful race of his entire life, jockey Donie Fahy had to go to the ends of the earth.

Mongolia, to be specific.

In August 2012, Fahy took part in the Mongol Derby, an equine endurance race fashioned after the postal route used by Genghis Khan in the early 13th century. While simply crossing the finishing line of this gruelling 10-day and 1,000km-long marathon is a feat in itself, the unassuming Meath man won it.

What's more, his triumph happened 10 months after breaking his back...

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New Zealand: Horse Racing: Trudi tackles Mongol Derby

NZHerald.co.nz - Full Article

16 May 2018
By: Janine Baalbergen

Levin grandmother of four Trudi Thomas-Morton has been in the grip of adventure for a while now.

She loves horse riding and has been a long distance and an endurance rider both on horses and camels, but her latest venture is truly epic. She plans to ride the 1000km Mongol Derby in August.

That is no mean feat. Travelling from station to station, changing horses each time, with rider and horse undergoing check-ups at each station, each leg of the journey is 40km long and is travelled at speed...

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American Eventers to Contest 2018 Mongol Derby

Devan Horn in the 2015 Mongol Derby. Photo by Richard Dunwoody/Mongol Derby Eventingnation.com - Full Article

By Leslie Wylie on May 15, 2018

Eventers have historically fared pretty well in the Mongol Derby, not because we know the first thing about endurance riding but because as a lot we’re generally tough, scrappy and just psychotic enough to think we can pull it off. Lucinda Green’s niece, Lara Prior-Palmer, won the race in 2013, and several more have found their way to the finish line over the years including (by the skin of my teeth) yours truly.

The 10th annual race, a sort of 1,000-kilometer Hunger Games on horseback, takes place Aug. 5-18 somewhere in Mongolia and will be contested by 45 riders from 13 countries. North America is sending its biggest ever contingent — a whopping 13 riders from the U.S. and two from Canada — and once again there will be a few eventers in the mix.

Let’s break down the American field!...

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New Zealand: Weber horse trek helps pave way to Mongol Derby adventure

NZHerald.co.nz - Full Article

10 May 2018

The hills of Kereru Farm will echo to the clip clop of many hooves this weekend, as a two-day horse trek takes in the sights of the area.

Alongside the trekkers will be Levin-based grandmother of four Trudi Thomas-Morton, who is in training to ride in the Mongol Derby - said to be the world's longest, toughest horse race - in August this year.

The trek - on the Hales family's Weber farm - is to raise funds for international charity Cool Earth . . . as part of the conditions of Trudi's Mongol Derby entry...

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Road To The Mongol Derby: The Guru

Thoroughbreddailynews.com - Full Article

Sunday, April 29, 2018

By Kelsey Riley

TDN International Editor Kelsey Riley will be riding in the Mongol Derby in August 2018, and will be regularly blogging about her preparations and ultimately, her 1000-kilometer, 10-day ride across Outer Mongolia. Every rider chooses a charity for which they raise money as part of the process. Kelsey has chosen the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Second Chances Program at the Blackburn Correctional Complex in Lexington, KY. To learn more about Blackburn, click here.

“Don’t worry, you won’t even notice how bad you smell until you get back to the city.”

That was just one of the pearls of wisdom afforded me last week by 2013 Mongol Derby veteran Shelley Bates, shortly after she informed me that my plan of three clothing changes over my 10 day, 1000 kilometre journey across the Mongolian steppe was far too many–one at most, maybe none, but a change of socks every day, she suggested. What luxury.

While in England last week for the event of the year–no, not the Craven meeting, but rather the wedding of my friends Matt and Amanda Prior–I took the opportunity to travel down to Surrey to meet the woman known simply among Derbyists as The Guru: endurance trainer Maggie Pattinson, who operates On The Hoof Distance Training and has been at the forefront of the Derby organization and crew since the event was inaugurated nine years ago...

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Waikato man Eion Kemp prepares for world's toughest horse race in Mongolia

Stuff.co.nz - Full Article

Last updated 12:00, April 30 201

Waikato man Eion Kemp is always up for a challenge.

And in August he'll leave his home in Matamata to compete in the world's toughest horse race, the Mongol Derby.

The 1000 kilometre derby, in Mongolia, is run across high valleys and open passes, semi-arid dunes, wetland and river crossings.

Temperatures can drop to -8 degrees Celsius and soar to 50deg C in one day.

In the past, riders had suffered dehydration, hypothermia, broken bones and concussion...

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Local Attorney Trains to Race Semi-Wild Horses in Mongolia

Sweetwaternow.com - Full Article

SWEETWATER COUNTY – If a 1000+ km race where you ride semi-wild horses across the Mongolian steppe sounds like a good time, then you might be Sweetwater County Public Defender Rick Helson.

Helson, a 59-year-old attorney by day, devotes himself to horsemanship in his free time and is training hard for a rugged overland race known as the Mongol Derby. He was not raised on a horse though.

When asked to describe his history in horsemanship, Helson’s reply was, “That won’t take long.”

Helson got involved with riding only seven years ago. Back then, he took a very basic BOCES class about riding and began helping a friend gather cows at a ranch in Utah. They spent a couple days gathering the cows to brand and vaccinate them.

“It was very exciting,” said Helson. “I went down the following day and they were surprised I came back.”

After that, Helson continued to go back regularly to ride and help on his friend’s ranch. Now, a few short years later, he’s a horse owner and competes in ranching events for sorting and penning.

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