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2019 Mongol Derby: the world's toughest race


Under starter’s orders for toughest horse race

TeesdaleMercury.co.uk - Full Article

8 December 2019

Only about 40 competitors worldwide are selected to take part in the annual Mongol Derby, which is described as “the world's toughest horse race”. Teesdale’s own Fiona Kearton will be taking part in 2020 and Wendy Short went to meet her on her smallholding near Bowes.

THE Mongol Derby covers 1,000km across the Mongolian Steppes, with riders racing across the gruelling terrain in just ten days. Competitors navigate the route with minimal assistance on the local Mongolian horses, which are switched every 40km and spend each night with the native horse herders.

Fiona Kearton has been involved in endurance riding for several years and first heard about the Mongol Derby in 2014...

Read more here:
https://www.teesdalemercury.co.uk/country-life/under-starters-orders-for-toughest-horse-race


Idaho’s Bob Long oldest to win 2019 Mongol Derby

TSLN.com - Full Article

August 14, 2019
Savanna Simmons

Bob Long had to pass a vet check at each horse station, including the very last, in which his horse’s heart rate had to be at or below 56 beats per minute within half an hour of his return in order to not receive a penalty. He received no vet penalties throughout the entire race.

While Robert Long celebrates a victory the 70-year-old has yet to realize the vast audience that closely tracked his progress in the United States. Long is the oldest man to win the Mongol Derby. The Wyomingite, who now resides in Idaho, finished the 1,000 km race, which is a nod to Genghis Khan’s horse messenger system, with the statement “My horse just won the Mongol Derby. It’s nothing, you just ride 650 miles on a death march. There’s nothing to it.”

The semi-feral Mongolian steppe horses are swapped out every 35 to 40 km and are vetted at each horse station. Long began a slow race, so much so that his partner Stephanie Nelson said they hadn’t really taken any photos of him (other than one of his involuntary dismount day one), so when he made his move and neared the front of the pack, the race organizers were scrambling for photos.

“They loved his demographic,” she said. “They thought he would ride two legs and fall off.”

The second-place rider South African Weisman Nel encountered a vet delay early in the race but managed to sneak up from behind to finish two hours after Long. Some of the 42 other riders are still making the trek to the finish line.

“Bob isn’t just the oldest, he has ridden better and stronger, camping out more than anyone else,” said Tom Morgan, founder of The Adventurists, the race organizers. “We opened up the course this year to make navigation a key skill again, and Bob absolutely nailed it. The man is tougher than a box of concrete...”

Read more here:
https://www.tsln.com/news/idahos-bob-long-oldest-to-win-mongol-derby/