by Mr Tom on: 18 Aug 2012
After seven days and the closest run battle for first place in the history of the Derby we have a winner. Donal Fahy of Ireland takes first place in the World's longest and toughest horse race.
It was a nail biting finish as the lead changed hands many times over the final 2 legs. After a rough night in a shed, Donal and his riding partner for the whole race Richie Killoran (also of Ireland) came into horse station 23 early morning mistakenly thinking they were in the lead only to discover they were in 4th and 5th place. The following two legs saw them both put in an impecable performance and made up 30 minutes to join the race leader Barry Armitage. Barry had been riding with Joe Dawson both from South Africa and had held a comanding lead for the majority of the race; Joe was at this point riding a couple of hours behind Barry for a vet penalty.
Michaela Gradinger (Austria) and Christoffer Adriansson (Sweden) fell behind as Barry, Richie and Donal fought for first place.
As they thundered across the line, Barry and Donal were litterally neck a neck with Richie just 44 seconds behind. As the dust settled on their 1000km ride the horses went straight into the vet check and unfortunately Barry picked up a 2 hour vet penalty. Loosing him the joint first position and shifting Richie into second. Third place was taken just under an hour later by Michaela Gradinger who was followed just a few seconds later by Christoffer Adriansson.
On winning Donal said "I'm feeling great that it's over. It's been a hell of a 7 days. Long days and really tough days, but on the whole it has been incredible. Not only is this the toughest horse race in the world. it's the toughest thing I've ever done. The whole mental side, to keep pushing on and pushing on, but in the same breath it got to be one of the better things I've ever done. Now I can't wait to have a shower and a few beers."
Full placing are being posted below as the riders continue to cross the line...
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