Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home 2023 Mongol Derby

Official Event Website

The World's Longest, Toughest Horse Race

2022 Mongol Derby

2019 Mongol Derby

2018 Mongol Derby

2017 Mongol Derby

2016 Mongol Derby

2015 Mongol Derby

2014 Mongol Derby

2013 Mongol Derby

2011 Mongol Derby

Home || Official Website - Follow along!

2023 Mongol Derby: the world's toughest horse race

Swedish rider becomes the first Scandinavian to win the world’s toughest horse race

Riders with their steads during the 2023 Mongol Derby. Pakistani rider Omer Hayat Khan in the foreground – credit Shari Thompson

The Mongol Derby, the world’s longest and toughest horse race, has been thundering across Mongolia’s steppe for the last ten days. In one of the closest ever races, a Swedish woman, Linda Hermann, took home the win.

Based on the ancient horse messenger system used by Genghis Khan, in a country where the horse is king, at 1000km the Derby is the toughest test on the planet for equestrian endurance riders. Whilst horses are changed roughly every 35km, at checkpoints strung out throughout the country, riders must endure being in the saddle for up to 200km a day and face the

challenges of riding over twenty-eight different semi- wild horses - from the animals’ varying temperaments and bucking abilities and the inevitable falls and mishaps that happen along the way to navigating through challenging terrain, including giant sand dunes and freezing mountain passes.

The thirteenth edition of the Mongol Derby kicked off on the 2nd of August and looked set to be a firecracker from the off, with 42 riders, from eleven different nations, competing for the prestigious win.

Day one saw Spanish rider Xavier Ferrer riding at the front of the pack for most of the day, but he wasn’t in the lead as evening fell, having had a reversal of fortune when he abruptly parted ways with his horse enroute to HS3 (horse station 3) – resulting in him having to hitch a ride back to HS2. This left German rider Judith Jaeckle at the front of the race as night fell.

Over the next eight days Judith was never far from the front of the race and showed true horsemanship skills by never having to redraw a horse (new to the race this year, every horse station was a ‘lotto’, meaning riders had to ride the horse they were given, rather than picking a horse themselves, testing their horsemanship all the more. You could however choose to ‘redraw’ a maximum of three times in the race, if you didn’t like the look of the horse you were first given).

The real battle of the race would come on its final stretch, as Swedish rider Linda Hermann, who’d been in a game of cat and mouse with Judith over the previous days, finally managed to overtake the German rider to take the lead...but only just, and it certainly wasn’t a two horse race. Hot on the ladies’ tails was American marine Matthew Perrella, who’s navigation prowess and luck-of-the-draw, with some seriously fast race horses, now put him in contention for the win.

As it came down to the last two horse stations, Linda would find herself deep in a bog. Luckily her and her horse were fine, but it was a very tense moment and a vet team was dispatched before her horse was cleared to continue. This slowed the Swedish rider down, and allowed Judith and Matt to both gain ground, riding on very fast horses. It was down to the wire, but Linda was able to make it to the final horse station, before the finish line, in the lead clear the vet check (these checks happen at every check-point to ensure all horses are ok and they haven’t been ridden too hard), and remount on a seriously fit race horse.

The win seemed hers, as long as her horse passed the final vet check at the finish line. But Judith and Matt had other ideas and had reached the final horse station almost within eyesight of Linda. They both changed horses swiftly. With Matt on one of the most feral and fastest horses on the course, he crossed the finish line shortly after Linda, with Judith a mere few minutes behind him.

With bated breath everyone waited for Linda’s vet check to clear (a penalty would lead to her losing the win), but finally the news came that her horse’s heart rate was below the 56bmp required and the win was hers. Matt and Judith cleared their vet checks shortly after crossing- with Matt claiming 2nd place and Judith 3rd.

Not only was the race an incredible success for all those involved, but it also helped raise a huge amount of money for charity. The Mongol Derby to date has raised over $1 million for charities, with each rider asked to raise funds for good causes, including the race’s official charity partner Steppe and Hoof - www.steppeandhoof.org - whose objective is to support the herders and their animals and work to save the unique traditions that are part of the Mongolian nomadic lifestyle as it comes under fire from climate change and urbanisation.

Comments from the finish line:

Linda on being stuck in the bog enroute to the last horse station

“I had a lot of pressure today...but he (the horse) just got up and nothing was wrong with him, the vet cleared him and we continued to the final station”

On her favourite part of the race:

Riding alone.

On expectation vs reality

The rodeos at the horse station, I expected that, and I got it. Most notably being kicked in the stomach.

On the horses she raced on

The thing is, when you’re going so fast on some of these horses, there’s a feeling that if my horse trips, I am dead, but they didn’t trip, the risk and the feeling was just incredible. For more details on the race visit www.equestrianists.com


Maine woman competes in 1000-kilometer race across Mongolia on horseback



Whitefield Farmer Places 13th in Endurance Horse Race in Mongolia



Burbank’s Madliene Haim Completes Mongol Derby, “The Longest And Toughest Horse Race In The World”



From Baguio to Mongolia for the world’s toughest horse race | The Howie Severino Podcast



'The horse came down underneath me and I broke my elbow' - Arthur Dobell on his Mongol Derby adventure



A journey of 1300km as an Aussie crosses Mongolian dunes and mountains on horseback



Mongol Derby: Second place for U.S. Marine veteran in the world’s toughest horse race


Maine dairy farmer places in top 15 in world’s longest horse race



Filipina makes it to 2023 Mongol Derby

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIc_CjPwjeo

Surviving the Mongol Derby



Saddle sores, wild camping and wolves: Arthur Dobell takes the Mongol Derby challenge


Mongol Derby 2023 Day 10: The final chapter

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Outlaw Kate
12th August 2023

It’s been a long journey for these riders who set out 10 days ago to pit themselves against 1000km of rugged steppe and relentless weather, not to mention a selection of the feistiest and finest horses that Mongolia has to offer. For some, the journey began months or even years prior: commitments have been rearranged to accommodate training, piggy banks have been emptied to fund the travel to the steppe, all to satisfy the drive to become one of a very select group of riders who have experienced this event. It’s no wonder that we often say that to make it to the start line is a big win in everyone’s book, and to ride any length of the Derby is something to be very proud of. In the words of one of our illustrious alumni Kevin Price-Moor, “More people have climbed Mt Everest than have competed in this event. This is our Everest.” Thus we salute all our riders, no matter where they placed. You are all very much winners in our book...

More story, photos, videos here:

Pakistani jockeys make history in Mongol Derby Race

In a historic achievement, Pakistani jockeys made the country proud in the most difficult and lengthy Mongol Derby horse race spanning a distance of one thousand kilometers.

Mongol Derby 2023 Day 9: A winner is crowned

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Outlaw Kate
11th August 2023

As the sun rose over the steppe on Day 9 there was a sense of expectation in the air. Lead rider Linda LHE was sitting pretty at HS27, a mere 60km from the finish and exquisitely positioned, should all go well, to claim the 2023 Derby title by mid-day. Crew were up at the crack of dawn, herders had horses organized and ready, and when the clock chimed 0700 Linda was out the door on her way to the finish.

Camped between HS26 – HS27 Judith JJA, Xavier XFE and Moazzam MHK were also well on their way first thing, looking to narrow the gap between themselves and the leader; and chaser Matthew MPE back at HS26 set out to continue his relentless push towards the finish line. With this tight of a race, it could still come down to the wire. One penalty, a slow horse, an unscheduled dismount and everything could change.

The crew watched Linda’s progress with bated breath while reports began pinging in that she had drawn a rather “measured pace” horse: in other words it was a somewhat leisurely ride to HS28 with the chasing pack baying at her heels...

More article, photos, videos here:

Irishman’s ride in world’s longest horse race cut short after fall

Martin McMahon was halfway through the gruelling Mongol Derby when ‘disaster struck’

Mongol Derby Day 8: Gunning for the Finish

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Outlaw Kate
10th August 2023

Day 8 dawned bright and clear with the promise of another scorcher out on the steppe. Crew and riders alike were feeling the heat and stern warnings were given to all by the medics to hydrate well and often. Water for the riders is provided at the horse stations and they are cautioned to purify any other water they come across out on the steppe prior to drinking.

Water is a precious resource in this part of the world; it is essential for the health of their livestock and families will often move to where there is a good reliable source of water. Although our course is set well in advance, we occasionally need to move a horse station location slightly to accommodate the fact that the herding family needed to move closer to better grazing and water. It is a good reminder that the steppe is still home to many nomadic people with no fixed address. Such a great cultural experience for our riders...

More story, photos, videos here:

Mongol Derby Day 7: Sometimes we walk, sometimes we ride

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Outlaw Kate
9th August 2023

It’s Day 7 and the lead riders have now covered over 80 percent of the course, which to us mere mortals means they’ve ridden somewhere in the neighbourhood of 800 kilometers. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it. The chasing pack, their accomplishments by no means any less significant, have covered over 700 kilometers. Are they still going strong? Absolutely. And the determination is still apparent in the many photos that come out over the day via our social media channels, showing the grins, grimaces and grit-your-teeth-and-get-it-done expressions on our brave riders’ faces. The point here is that no matter where positioned on the field, every rider who has come here to taste the Mongolian horse way of life has done something significant that will change who they are forever...

More story, photos and videos here:

Mongol Derby Day 6: Grit and camaraderie

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Outlaw Kate
8th August 2023

As usual , the Day 6 on the steppe started with some interesting weather. A heavy fog had descended, adding a very Game of Thrones-esque eerie atmosphere and riders and crew alike were nervously checking over their shoulders lest a white walker catch them unawares. By mid afternoon, however, the atmosphere had lightened noticeably, and the fog cleared up to reveal Mongolia’s signature blue skies punctuated with small puffy white clouds towards the horizon.

Our resident Swedish Viking Linda LHE held the lead throughout the day. It’s a well-earned lead and nothing has come easy to this intrepid rider: she has had a kick or two but has marshaled on without a complaint. We’ve met quite a few tough characters through this race but she may be one of the toughest thus far. According to the crew she’s battle-hardened and has definitely shown the world that she means business...

More stories, photos, videos here:

Mongol Derby 2023 Day 5: Teamwork and tenacity

Equestrianists.com - Full Article

Outlaw Kate
7th August 2023

It was a hot and overcast kind of day today followed by an early evening thunderstorm which has become the norm since the start. Riders, knowing the routine, have been riding out of the last station of the day, rain gear on and ready. The lightning shows have been pretty spectacular.

Phoebe de Raeve has shown us her navigational prowess, taking an interesting route up and through the mountains instead of staying low and in the valleys. Understandable, because if there’s one thing we know about her, she’s got a thing for mountains. She’s a rough and tumble type, takes her training seriously, but found herself rough-and-tumbling down into a crevasse in the mountains two weeks before the Derby...

Read more here:

Mongol Derby 2023 Day 4: The hustle continues

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Tom Morgan
6th August 2023

Race Report Day 4

Lost Horse Saga

RCA steppe curse continues as he got thrown off another horse, ISD attempted to catch him, but they digressed and managed to find a herding family. RCA jumped on the back of a motorbike and he and his new found herder friend caught the loose horse whilst IDS enjoyed some lovely afternoon tea with the wife.

Invasion of the Flys

Today saw riders and crew crossing some seriously fly infested swamp land. It’s gorgeous at first sight until you slow down long enough for the fly hordes to find you.

Herding Fams

Purevkhishig. D has provided horses three times for the Mongol Derby and participated in our Herder Trials. His thoughts on the Mongol Derby: I’m very excited about the Mongol Derby because it showcases our culture and most importantly our horses. I love seeing the international riders and how well they can ride my horses, it’s really incredible.

Everyone has a plan until they’re kicked in the stomach:...

Read more, see photos and videos here:

Mongol Derby 2023 Day 3: Gazelles and camels and spas, oh my

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Tom Morgan
5th August 2023

The weather continued to play a major part on Day 3 in this 2023 edition of the Derby, with the riders enduring another blistering day followed by a biblical downpour just around the time they were tucking into their tents/gers/goat sheds.. If you’ve never been caught in a Mongolian thunderstorm you are missing one of the finest examples of the power of Mother Nature. You can go from parched and dried-out tongue-hanging-out sticky hotness to saturated sogginess in a matter of minutes. Lucky for most riders, they had an initiation into the fickleness of weather at start camp and are by now experienced weather-weatherers.

Weather notwithstanding, the beauty of the steppe did not disappoint today. Jessie JDO had an incredible day of solo riding, even encountering a gazelle in the mountains somewhere around HS8. Not to be outdone, Micaiah, MSO and Alice ARO rode up to a rock in the middle of nowhere and promptly discovered it was a camel catching up on its beauty sleep. By the time these riders return to the former lives, they will have accumulated a plethora of visual memories to sustain them for a lifetime...

More stories, photos, videos here:

Mongol Derby 2023 Day 2: Are we there yet?

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Outlaw Kate
4th August 2023

Day 2 is when the reality of this race tends to sink in. The adrenaline has worn down a bit and the nerves have settled, but there are still a lot of miles to go. These riders are tough bunch though, and to even make it to the start line takes immense preparation and skill, not to mention a bit of bravado and disregard for comfort.

Day 2 saw a lot of unscheduled dismounts, a few lost horses, some more epic camping tales, and the field beginning to separate between the hard core racers vs the adventure seekers...

More at:

Mongol Derby 2023 Day 1: The Journey Begins

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Outlaw Kate
3rd August 2023

The 2023 edition of the Mongol Derby kicked off under cloudy and cool skies; perfect riding weather for these 42 intrepid international riders who have come to the steppe hoping to make their mark.

As the riders lined up for the kickoff to this 10-day adventure, the feisty horses had their own ideas about what constitutes a good time, causing a few spills and thrills which added spice to an already charged atmosphere at the start line. Just a taste of what is to come over the next 10 days as these riders will change horses at each of the 28 horse stations: no two rides will be the same which is about as close to a certainty as we can get in this race...

More stories, photos, videos at:

The 2023 Mongol Derby is almost upon us


Tom Morgan
30th July 2023

The thundering hooves of brave Equestrianists from across the globe will soon resonate through the vast Mongolian steppes as the 12th Edition of the Mongol Derby is about to kick off. This awe-inspiring event brings together horse riders from eleven different countries, all eager to challenge themselves in the Guinness Book of World Records’ ‘World’s Longest and Toughest Horse Race.’ With a spirit of adventure and camaraderie, they are prepared to push the boundaries of endurance and skill in this ultimate test of horsemanship.

Returning Champions and New Hopefuls

Among this year’s contenders, we welcome back familiar faces and newcomers alike. Trinity Nelzen, following in her father’s footsteps, ventures to honor his memory after he triumphed in the Mongol Derby a decade ago. Her determination and heritage add an emotional touch to the already thrilling race. Notably, Phoebe de Raeve and Bianca Farmas-Griffith, seasoned riders who participated in the 2022 edition, are back for a second try at conquering the Mongolian wilderness. Their previous experience will undoubtedly aid them, but the unpredictable nature of the Derby keeps them on their toes...

More at:

2023 Mongol Derby kicks off August 2


The Mighty Mongol Derby is kicking off on August 2, 2023!

Forty-five equestrianists from around the world are making their way to Mongolia. Stay tuned as The Equestrianists bring you all the action from the steppe.

If you'd like to follow along you can do so via the following:
-FB/Instagram @MongolDerby
-Twitter @MongolDerbylive
-Live Tracker Map via our website: https://equestrianists.com/mongol-derby/

*Note the tracker map will not be visible/live until August 2nd when the race kicks off.