Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Meanwhile, in Outer Mongolia… - 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...

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