Monday, August 31, 2015

Meg Sleeper Places First in North American Endurance Team Challenge - Full Article

by Pamela Burton

28 August 2015 – Canada ~ The 2015 North American Endurance Team Challenge (NAETC), was held 21 August 2015 at Cayuse Creek Ranch in Millbrook, Ontario, Canada. Held every two years, NAETC welcomed competitors from Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

Meg Sleeper (US) on her homebred Shyrocco Rimbaud (Rim) won the Seniors 120km ride in a ride time of 6:50:34 with Jeremy Reynolds (US) on Bound for Honor coming in six minutes later. Melody Blittersdorf (US) on Synthetic finished in third with a ride time of 7:26:34. Fourth was Tom Haggis on Indian Reinman, The highest placed Canadian individual in the senior division was fifth place Robert Gielen riding 6 yo Arabian gelding More Bang For Your Buck (Doran x Forty Thieves).

The first ten riders came in within a ride time of 8:46:46. The ride finished 23 Senior riders and 9 Junior/Young Riders. The last Senior rider, Nancy Zukewich riding Nightwind’s Classic Whiskee finished in a ride time of slightly over 11 hours...

Read more here:

NZ’s endurance championships reduced to two days - Full Article | 29 August 2015

New Zealand’s championship endurance rides will be reduced to two-day events on a trial basis as a cost-saving measure.

Events affected include the North Island, South Island and National Championship rides, which cost up to $40,000 each to run.

In a communication to members this week, the country’s endurance board said that based on the 2015 Nationals budget, reducing a ride to two days would save up to $7000, “reduce metabolic issues and condense sponsor exposure and impact”...

Read more:

Canadians Capture Three Medals at 2015 North American Endurance Team Challenge - Full Article

August 28, 2015
by: Equine Canada

Canadian endurance athletes captured a total of three medals at the 2015 North American Endurance Team Challenge (NAETC), held August 21, 2015 at Cayuse Creek Ranch in Millbrook, ON.

Canada fielded five teams for the 2015 NAETC, which is an FEI sanctioned endurance competition held bi-annually, and attracting competitors from Canada, Mexico and the United States.

In the senior division, featuring a CEI 2* 120km race, the North East Mid Atlantic Menace Team from the U.S. took gold, while the Canada East A Team finished silver, followed by the U.S. Central Team in bronze...

Read more here:

Friday, August 28, 2015

Great Britain: Future equine stars showcase potential at Tall Trees futurity - Full Story

Westcountry breeders exhibited their most promising young horses at the Tall Trees Baileys Horse Feeds/British Breeding/British Equestrian Federation (BEF) futurity on Friday, August 7.

The BEF Futurity Evaluation series aims to identify British-bred potential sport horses and ponies destined for national and international careers in dressage, eventing, showjumping or endurance...

Read more:

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Former Calgary journalist finishes world's longest horse race with wealth of memories - Full Article

Published on: August 25, 2015

Liz Brown battled a chest infection, survived a wild-dog chase and endured aches and pains as she rode through weather that ranged from bone-chilling to scorching hot.

But as she crossed the finish line at the 7th annual Mongol Derby, billed as the world’s longest horse race, she was filled with an overwhelming feeling of pride.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” said Brown, a former Calgary journalist now living in Toronto, in a phone interview Tuesday. “It was amazing, kind of indescribable … I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.”

Brown was among the 40 riders who set off on Aug. 5 to take part in the gruelling race, which recreates Genghis Khan’s ancient horse messenger system, used for rapid intelligence gathering and communication...

Read more here:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tucsonan Tanaka breaks down Mongol Derby experience - Full Article

August 23, 2015 7:40 pm • By Jon Gold

Leave it to someone like Michelle Tanaka to return from a journey like the Mongol Derby only to be disappointed she had no broken bones.

In late July, we previewed Tanaka’s incredible journey to the epic, long-distance horse race over the Mongolian steppe, and it was just as Tanaka expected it to be: painful, exhilarating, exhausting and, well, epic. We caught up with her this week after she finished tied for third in the 1,000-mile journey.

So, you’re back in one piece?

A: “I am back in one piece. Never once came off a horse, no injuries. Nothing bad happened. It was intense, it was painful, but mostly it was so fun.”

Describe the pain.

A: “The last leg, the fourth leg of the second day, I was just in so much pain. I just could not have imagined it. You know it’s going to be the worst pain you ever felt, but it was just so painful and you have to keep going...”

Read more here:

Monday, August 24, 2015

65 Starters in the 2015 Shahzada

August 24 2015

65 horses and riders, including 4 Juniors, started the 400-km, 5-day Shahzada endurance marathon in St Albans, New South Wales, Australia, on Monday, August 24. 60 riders completed the first day.

67 horse and rider combinations are on the start list for the 120-km, 3-day mini-marathon which begins today.

The ultimate test of endurance horsemanship, a horse and rider earn a Shahzada buckle only if they complete all 400 kilometers over 5 days and are judged fit to continue at the end.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

New Zealand: Lots of horses, too few trails - Full Article

Last updated 15:15, August 21 2015

For an area known for its strong equine focus, there are too few publicly-available bridle trails in the Waipa area.

In a submission to the Waipa District Council, Cambridge equestrian Michelle Rohlder expressed concerns that there was currently a lot of emphasis on cyclists, but little consideration given to horse riders.

"Horse riders have been left out of the equation when trails are planned, which is bewildering considering we have similar requirements.

"We share a lot of the same traits, we enjoy an outdoor hobby, we need to share the area with others and be respectful."

She said Waipa was well catered for in terms of competition grounds with places like St Peter's School, Little Valley Farm and Kihikihi Domain, but felt there were not enough facilities for hobby riders like herself.

"I'm in my 50s, riding keeps me fit and is a great way to socialise," she said.

Jenny Chandler from the Waikato Endurance Club agreed and said there was nowhere for them to train...

Read more here:

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Further endurance bans in Middle East - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
20 August, 2015

Two more Middle Eastern endurance riders have been suspended for two years each, after their horses tested positive having allegedly consumed Fustex — a supplement that the FEI has repeatedly warned against.

Horses competed by Mohammed Shafi Al Rumaithi (Royal Des Fontaines, UAE) and Ali Yousef Al Kubaisi (In Situ, Qatar) both tested positive to propoxyphene, a narcotic pain reliever. Al Rumaithi’s owner Jumaa Mohamed Khamees Alromaithi was also banned for two years after admitting buying Fustex...


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Great Britain: Tracy Thompson Wins Northern Championship

18 August 2015

The Endurance GB Northern Championship and Hexham Trophy Ride took place over the weekend of 1st and 2nd August at Cooks House Farm.

Endurance competitors and pleasure riders enjoyed two days riding through forest routes around Slaley on the Saturday and over Hexhamshire Common with glorious views on Sunday. From the 13km “taster” pleasure ride to the 110km Northern Championship (spanning both days), an evening barbeque and social for those staying at the venue, and the Urban Horse trade stand on the Sunday there was something for riders and horses at all levels. Due to generous sponsorship there were prizes for every class.

This year, the prestigious and testing Northern Championship (110km over 2 days) was won by Tracy Thompson and her 11 year old gelding Just Giles.

Tracy said “I bought Giles from York horse sales as an unbroken 4 year old. He was only about 13.1hh and was very scrawny. We had a rather challenging time as he was a nervous wreck and we really did wonder if we would ever win his trust. He is still a quirky little horse but he is a lovely forward going ride and never gives up. We really enjoyed Hexham and found it a real challenge as the terrain is quite tricky. It was Giles first attempt at a two day ride so we were thrilled with the result. We were amazed by the generous sponsorship from Baileys”

For results see:

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Great Britain: Endurance youngster achieves elite premium at Futurity Read - Full Article

12 August 2015

The Baileys/BEF Futurity recently headed to Writtle College, Essex (3 August).

Top scorer for the day was 18-year-old Tara Lee’s filly foal, Florouche JT (pictured top) (Woodlander Freddie M x Firebreak) attaining an elite premium of 9.05 in the dressage section.

Tara from Basildon said: “I am delighted with Florouche, I outgrew my 14.2hh dressage pony and so mum and I decided to breed a horse that I can go out and compete in a few years.”

Florouche JT is out of Tara’s mare, Magic In Motion. Tara continued: “Magic in Motion is a former racehorse. She ran about seven times but she wasn’t very fast! We bought her from Lynne Crowden as a broodmare. We will keep Florouche as she is definitely part of the family, but any further foals will be for sale...”


Australia: 2015 Shahzada Approaching


The 35th Shahzada will be held from Monday, 24th to Friday, 28th August in St Albans, north west of Sydney, NSW, and being 10 weeks out from the Quilty to be held in Del Rio, NSW, everyone from all over Australia has the opportunity to not only achieve a 50th Anniversary Quilty Buckle but a much coveted Shahzada Buckle and then, with the NSW State Championships in northern NSW in October, "The Big Three" - awarded for three successful completions in the Quilty, Shahzada and NSW State Championships by the same horse and rider combination in the one year.

As well as the ultimate test of 400km over five days, the Mini Marathon of 120km over three days will be held from Tuesday, 25th to Thursday, 27th August. Both rides are held in St Albans with horses and riders camped all around the town and venture out on each leg up and down the legendary tracks of the Macdonald Valley on both sides of the river - this year there is the promise of perfect Shahzada weather and lots of fun with heaps of social events and activities to keep everyone smiling throughout the week.
There will be many updates in the coming months to let you know what to expect during Shahzada and the lead up to it but for now, go to the Shahzada website for all the stories of past rides to get you motivated……this is a very special event and if you don’t do anything else in endurance, you have to ride Shahzada!!

Track clearing days will be announced here in the near future and if you would like to help at these weekends or volunteer to help during Shahzada, please email Sue Todd on

More detailed information is on the website with entry forms and campsite request forms as well as the option to book your special ride number or contact Shahzada secretary, Sue Todd on

For more on the Shahzada, see

Canadian Squads for North American Endurance Team Challenge

August 11, 2015

by: Equine Canada

Equine Canada is pleased to announce the Canadian squads who will represent Canada at the 2015 North American Endurance Team Challenge (NAETC), set to take place in Millbrook, ON at Cayuse Creek Ranch on August 21, 2015.

The NAETC is an FEI sanctioned endurance competition held every two years, with teams from Canada, Mexico and the United States participating.

The following riders have qualified for the Canadian squads. Prior to the start of competition, these riders will be split into teams of three to five members riding for Canada:

Rider / Hometown / Horse / Owner
Laura Austin / Millbrook, ON / Good to Go CCA / Laura Austin
Robert Gielen / Flesherton, ON / More Bang for Your Buck / Robert Gielen
Brianne Henderson / Grand Valley, ON / Rivendell Elessar / David & Janet Henderson
Wendy MacCoubrey / Ste. Justine de Newton, QC / Am Mysterious Mopsa/Yvette Vinton
Mike Merriam / Finch, ON / J Walker AES / Kim Woolley
Dessia Miller / Berwick, ON / Amber Kiera / Dessia Miller
Solstice Pecile / Bailieboro, ON / Glorious Song IA / Solstice Pecile
Yvette Vinton / Morriston, FL / Teese / Yvette Vinton
Michele Watling / Kirkfield, ON / Klien / Michelle Watling
Savanah Wilson / Kemptville, ON / WRR Victorian / Savanah Wilson
Kim Woolley / Finch, ON / Schakka Khan / Kim Woolley
Nancy Zukewich / Ottawa, ON / Serious Moonlight / Nancy Zukewich

Chef d’√©quipe – Nancy Beacon, Flesherton, ON

Rider / Hometown / Horse / Owner
Wendy Carnegie / Dugald, MB / Shaunessy’s Autumn Harvest / Wendy Carnegie
Avery Delannoy / Beausejour, MB / OK Absolutely Spotless / Angela Lavallee
Colleen DeVry / Fort Saskatchewan, AB / Nightwind’s Bey Infiniti / Colleen DeVry
Lena Gray / Montney, BC / Zorros Black Pearl / Tara Macleod
Angela Lavallee / Anola, MB / Cansas / Angela Lavallee
Ariel Macleod / Montney, BC / Driftwoods Tabora / Ariel Macleod
Coletan Macleod / Montney, BC / Zorros Iron Horse / Tara Macleod
Tara Macleod / Montney, BC / Zorros Flying Dutchman / Tara Macleod
Heather Nielsen / Lamont, AB / Nightwinds Indigo Bey / Colleen DeVry
Tracy Vollman / Regina, SK / RA Karim / Tracy Vollman

Chef d’√©quipe – Maura Leahy, Dugald, MB

This NAETC is an FEI 2* (120km) ride with four phases. The competition will be divided into Senior and Junior/Young Rider (J/YR) Divisions, with both divisions using the same trail on the same day.

For more information regarding the NAETC, click here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Winning the Mongol Derby - Interview - Full Article

August 11 2015

How does it feel to win the Mongol Derby?

It's quite surreal at the moment, I'm relieved and excited. I'm glad the training has paid off, I've had a phenomenal time, it was a great adventure. I've aches and pains all over my body, on day 3 I blew out my left knee, since then I've been trying to strap it up and have been going through a lot of pain, but it's been worth it.

At what point did you think you might win?

It was very uncertain, it was constantly changing between the six of us who was in the lead. Then at the last checkpoint Elise and I galloped about half the last stretch, and until about 3 km before the finish I had no idea if I would win. I happened to have the faster horse, but Elise was a great competitor.

How do these horses compare with the ones back home?

These horses are phenomenal. I realised that back home we pamper our horses, we worry about what terrain we ride them on, but the derby horses are like machines, over any terrain, it's incredible, I did get a few which wouldn't move and the guys around me helped me, but I got some which were absolute rockstars. They would just go and not stop literally canter the whole way. They were incredible...

Read more here:

Byeronie Epstein Wins the 2015 Mongol Derby - Full Article

August 11 2015

South African, Byeronie Epstein has just won the Mongol Derby in spectacular fashion. Beginning the day 5 stations from the finish it looked like the race would certainly go into the 8th Day. Byeronie and Elise Poitrinal had other ideas though and reaching HS 27 with less than 3 hours until the course closed reached the decision to ride on.

Given that the changeover would take half an hour this was a brave tactic; arriving at the finish line half an hour after the course closes would give them a 3 hour penalty. Even if they finished in time, presenting a horse with heart rate over 56 bpm after an hour would cost them a penalty too.

Byeronie picked a spectacular horse from the last Urtuu though which carried her much of the stage at 24 kph, meaning a later riding penalty was never a question. She couldn't have chosen better horse, which boasted an unrivaled 21 Nadaam medals (top 5 finishes in seasonal equine festivals).

The horse delivered her to the finish just 30 seconds before Elise but it's heart rate stabilised within just 15 minutes. Our head vet Helen declaring it has the strongest heart she'd ever heard "This horse is a freak; a Mongolian Secretariat. No wonder Elise's horse looks more tired"...

Read more here:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

FEI Controversy: Dirty Laundry List - Full Article

Blogs Straight-Up | August 8, 2015

Well, if there was ever any doubt about the extent of the UAE’s reprehensible behaviour in Endurance racing (and there wasn’t as far as I’m concerned), the FEI’s press release of last week certainly wipes it out. Nothing like a list of what someone is not allowed to do to confirm what that person or group has been up to. I mean, when someone is let out of jail on probation, the terms of the probation aren’t likely to list criminal activities of the sort that the person hasn’t committed. If you stole a car, the probation isn’t going to mention domestic violence, is it?

Here is the list of ‘thou shalt not’ activities contained in a new agreement signed by the UAE and FEI:

Read more here:

Mongol Derby 2015 - Race Report Day 6 - Full Article

August 10 2015

At the front of the field Byeronie Epstein and Elise Pointrinal began this morning out on the steppe between HS 19 & 20.

Their riding companions since day 1; Michele Tanaka, Braden Cameron, Ben Wilks and Maxim Van Lierde were half a leg behind, overnighting at HS 19.

Just before midday Byeronie and Elise reached PS1. With Elise due a 2 hour vet penalty and Byeronie free to ride it was unclear if Byerone would wait for the girl she'd ridden so well with so far.

Determined to seize any advantage available though, she pushed on. Elise - somewhat unlucky to get a veterinary penalty when the 5 she was riding with didn't - was left waiting, while the chasing four caught up.

By the time Michele, Braden, Ben and Maxim passed through HS21 Elise's penalty was nearly done and ten minutes later set off in pursuit on a speedy looking paint horse. Chloe reports she was very calm but focused on catching up with the lead...

Read more here:

American riders sought to take part in an exciting pilot challenge ride on Dartmoor, Devon, England, this September

Dartmoor Derby Ambassadors: Olympic silver medallist Mary King MBE, actor and British Horse Society President Martin Clunes OBE

Dear Riders,

Imagine a horseback adventure in one of Britain’s finest areas of wilderness. Imagine riding and navigating for days across moorland, through woods and valleys, crossing rivers, past ancient stone circles and through golden gorse and purple heather. It is countryside Steven Spielberg felt barely able to do justice in his wonderful movie, War Horse.

Imagine seeing the world at your feet, the sea beyond, and all framed to perfection between a horse’s pricked ears.
At the day’s end you reach a specially constructed safari camp, where luxury beds, superb food and plentiful hot water await you and your four-legged team mates.
This is the vision behind a spectacular new equestrian event taking place in 2016, the Dartmoor Derby. This year we are running the pilot event.

The Dartmoor Derby is inspired by the Mongol Derby, but is very different. The horses will be beautifully schooled, overnight stops luxurious and the food quite fabulous. It will also be a multi-day ride (much shorter) and not a race as such.

The information and learnings we gathered through an in-depth feasibility study in the spring, showed us this is a very viable and popular idea.

OUR NEXT STEP is to run an exclusive, pilot version of the event in September of this year (2015), specially invited group of riders, a foretaste of the full Dartmoor Derby experience. This will involve only 30 riders, including a range of celebrities and press, with some 15 or so places open to the general public. It has always been our aim that this ride would attract an international audience, and as such we would like to extend an invitation to members of the American distance riding community to be among the exclusive group riding in this year’s pilot event.

The dates for this year’s event are 24-28 September. The format is NOT the precise format that will be used in 2016, but will be as follows:

> The circular route will take in very varied terrain, through gorse (in full bloom), open moorland, forests, ancient stone circles, sites of historic interest and some of the best views in the world

> This year involves three nights stay with two full days riding over a total distance of approx 80km (about 24 miles a day)

> Two of these three nights will be in a luxury hotel, on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis. The other will be a night of very comfortable glamping in a specially constructed temporary camp in an exquisite spot on the moors. Your luggage requirements for a night in camp will be delivered to the camp for you. Superb food will be cooked (using local Dartmoor produce) in a field kitchen on site by a top chef.

> Riders will travel in teams of five, with a guide

> The event is very happy to provide horses for riders.
> There will be full veterinary and farrier support throughout the event

> While there is definitely a long-distance ride, this is not a race; while it will be necessary to maintain a reasonable pace to complete the ride within daylight hours, the aim is to complete the ride with your horse in first class condition and having had a brilliant time. It is not necessary for either horse or rider to have had experience of endurance riding.

> Riders do not need to enter as a team, but will be put into teams of like-minded riders by the organisers

> Riders may choose either to arrive in Devon on Thursday 24 Sept and leave Sunday 27th, with the 25th and 26th spend riding OR
— may arrive on Friday 25th and depart on Monday 28th, riding on Saturday and Sunday 27 and 28 September.

> The cost is £1,800 ahead including dinner, bed and breakfast and horse. Flights are extra.

The Dartmoor Derby is organised by the team behind an existing, established adventure-riding business, Liberty Trails.

I am assisting the event founder, Elaine Prior, with the Dartmoor Derby. Until a year ago I was editor of Horse & Hound magazine, and this event is one of my subsequent projects; Dartmoor sends me rather weak at the knees.

Interested riders, contact Lucy Higginson at or input your details here.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Devon, England - Liberty Trails launches the Dartmoor Derby

The Dartmoor Derby

Experienced rider? Enjoy stunning scenery? A thrilling new riding challenge awaits!

Imagine a horseback adventure in one of Britain’s finest areas of wilderness. Imagine riding and navigating 100km or more across 3-5 days, across moorland, through woods and valleys, crossing rivers, past stone circles and through golden gorse and purple heather.

Each day’s ride concludes in a specially constructed safari camp, where luxury tents, beds, superb food and plentiful hot water awaits you and your four-legged team mates.

This is the vision behind a spectacular new equestrian event being planned for 2016, The Dartmoor Derby. Places will be limited to 100.

Pilot Event: 25th - 28th September 2015

A Pilot event is taking place this year for a small number of high profile riders, celebrities, journalists and specially selected paying guests ahead of the full launch next year.

Accompanied by a local guide, groups of five will set off at staggered times for two full days riding.

The route will cover a total of 80km or so across the two days (roughly 24 miles each day).

At the end of the first day guests will ride into a specially constructed safari style camp in the heart of Dartmoor.

A camp supper will be prepared by a top chef in the Field Kitchen with fresh local produce from the Dartmoor Farmers.

The inclusive price for this unique experience is £1800 per person

To be part of this special event, apply by clicking HERE to input your details.

With the backing of the Regional Growth Fund, UKTI and Dartmoor National Park, the event is being developed by the same team that runs Liberty Trails, an established adventure riding company on Dartmoor.

September is a stunning month on the moors. Dartmoor National Park is, quite simply, spectacular. The landscape here has changed little for thousands of years; exploring it on horseback is almost like stepping into the past. With its ancient woodlands, high granite tors, winding valleys, sparkling streams and vast tracts of rolling moorland, at more than 368 square miles it’s the largest and wildest area of open country in the south of England. Come join us!

The Dartmoor Derby

Kiwi riders in leading pack in 1000km race - Full Article

Last updated 19:47, August 10 2015

Three Kiwis, including one from New Plymouth, are in the leading group of six riders at the beginning of the sixth day of the gruelling Mongel Derby.

Maxim Van Lierde, 25, son of New Plymouth sculptor Renate Verbrugge, Braden Cameron from Wellington and Ben Wilks from Katikati were in the leading pack at the end of Day 5 of the 1000 kilometre horse race across the Mongolian Steppe.

The derby website reports there has been a break by the front six at the start of Day 6.

"At the pointy end of the field there's finally been a breakaway from the lead six. Eloise Pointrinal and Byeronie Epstien have peeled away from Michele Tanaka, Ben Wilks, Braden Cameron, and Maxim Van Lierde. So now the battle for the lead is: France/ South Africa followed by USA/ New Zealand/ New Zealand/ New Zealand."

About 30 riders are competing in the race, which follows a route once taken by Genghis Khan. Each day they ride about 100km and change horses every 40km.

The riders are battling weather conditions, unfamiliar terrain and the constant threat of dehydration...

Read more here:

Mongol Derby 2015 - Race Report DAY 5 - Full Article

August 9 2015

Early this morning the lead six rode off from HS15 purposefully like knights into battle (BW, BE, EP, BCM, ML & MT).

The chasing pack (PSK, KW, SK, UM & CP) though two stations behind began following at an even greater speed with Sara Klymkowsky clocking an impressive 20 kpm. On arrival at HS14 Patrick was looking euphoric declaring "I've just ridden the best horse in Mongolia".

Meanwhile the going wasn't so good for Devan Horn at HS12. She had made some recovery overnight but not enough to ride on. This is a devastating blow for the young Texan who has been working towards victory here for two years.

A pattern seems to be developing on the steppe this summer. In the cool of the morning the riders push on at a considerable lick, making some impressive miles and having a lot of fun while they're at it. Then it gets to mid-day and in the heat of the sun things start getting tough. Rider begin to tire and start to make mistakes...

Read more here:

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Tucsonan among leaders at Mongol Derby - Full Article

August 07, 2015 10:50 am • Arizona Daily Star

Michelle Tanaka, the Tucson-born, NYU-educated horsewoman looking to accomplish one of the world's strangest sports feats, isn't just surviving the Mongol Derby. She's leading.

Tanaka is listed among the Day 3 leaders at the event, which traces the mail route of Genghis Khan across the Mongolian steppe. Race organizers say the field, which includes international adventurists and outdoorsmen, will begin to separate in the next few days...

Read more here:

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Mongol Derby 2015 - Race Report Day 4 - Full Article

August 8 2015

A day on the Mongol Derby is a long time, even this morning the field was very close together with any of 15 riders in contention. Now the top 6 have finally broken away and are 2 stations ahead of the chasing pack.

The leaders (Elise Poitrinal, Bruce Cameron, Michele Tanaka, Byeronie Epstein, Maxim Van Lierde and Ben Wilks) are riding at a tremendous pace and (for now) are riding as a team. So far only Elise is carrying a vet penalty into PS2 (station 21), it remains to be seen if they will split there, before or ride on together until the finish line is within sniffing distance. With a lead of around 70 Km, it's looking less likely the chasing pack will reach them.

Devan Horn has had another attritional day on the steppe. After sitting her penalty this morning she seemed determined to make up time and set of to HS12 like a rocket. Unfortunately she didn't make it much further before falling victim once again to the heat. She hit the 'help' button on her tracker and took refuge with a nearby family while she waited for backup. She was taken back to Station 12 where she's back under medical observation...

Read more here:

Mongol Derby 2015 - Race Report Day 3 - Full Article

Day 3 and the cracks are beginning to show. While most have had a good ride in the cool of the morning, by the time the sun reached full strength a lot of them were starting to struggle.

The travails began early for two of the boys camped out. Will Graham lost his horse to a passing herd while saddling up in the morning and had to walk back to HS7 to find a new horse and friendly local to help him recover the wayward steed. Our team on the ground report he took off in pursuit, bareback along with a local on a bike armed with a lasso pole. By not taking assistance from the crew he saved himself a penalty (no penalty given for local help), but did drop 16 places in the field.

Thomas Ellingsen lost his horse in a near identical manner, with his horse running back to HS6. Event Manager Chloe set off to find Thomas and bring him back to his steed. Unfortunately this warrants a 1 hour penalty, but he reports the field dressing on his unmentionables is holding up...

Read more here:

Friday, August 07, 2015

Mongol Derby 2015 - Race Report Day 2 - Full Article

August 6, 2015 Mongol Derby

It's been one of the hottest days ever on the Mongol Derby with temperatures around 37c for most of the day. Quite a few of the riders have been treated for heat-stroke and exhaustion but impressively we've had no retirements. That's not to say it's been an easy day though.

All riders who overnighted on the steppe found their horses where they found them and delivered them to the next stations well fed and watered.

There have been a few spills today though. Bruce Chernoff (BCH) had a crunching fall about 10 km after HS4. After being dragged behind his horse for a while he lost it and pressed the 'help' button on his tracker for assistance to recover it. He was saved the further pain of a penalty though as he recovered the horse himself before assistance arrived.

Between HS3 & 4 Simon Pearse (SP) was bucked rodeo-style and was also dragged behind his mount, this time for considerably further, picking up a few lacerations in the process...

Read more here:

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Mongol Derby 2015 - Race Report Day 1 - Full Article

August 5, 2015
Mongol Derby

After 12 months of preparation for riders and Derby HQ alike the 2015 Derby has launched. For the first time in recent years the start went smoothly and the full field crossed the line. The only cloud on the clearest of horizons was for Jensie Engisch (JE), who's horse disagreed with her bulky saddlebags.

The horse - previously picked by Derby chief Katy as the best of the start line - was reluctant to start with Jensie and her fancy baggage. JE was offered both a new horse and the opportunity to repack. She refused both and despite being one of the last to cross the line, caught up with the pack in about 500 metres, justifying Katy's faith in the horse.

Devan Horn (DH) picked up the 2015 Derby at the same blistering pace her 2013 campaign ended, occupying the front of the field with Uma Mencia (UM) and Catriona Paterson (CP) . She was first through the veterinary check at Urtuu 3 and despite a big fall on the previous leg she decided to kick on...

Read more here:

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Belgian woman embarks on 1,000 km horse race in Mongolia - Full Article

05 August 2015
Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)

On Wednesday, Sophie Wilford, a Belgian-French vet, will set off on this year’s Mongol Derby, the longest horse race in the world, 10 days and 1,000 kilometres through the Mongolian steppe.
At 10:00 am local time (3:00 am CET), 38 riders will set off for Erdenesant, 200 kilometres west of Ulan Bator. The race comprises 25 sections, each 40 km long, and the riders will be travelling on a different “semi-wild” Mongol horse for each of these stages.

“There is scope for a lot of different potential injuries because this is a very dangerous race, not to be undertaken on a whim,” said Sophie Wilford in a press release. Sophie has teamed up with Sian, a 34-year-old English paramedic, forming the “Steppe Sisters”. The two met in 2014 when they were both part of the Derby ground-team...

read more here:

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Mongol Derby: the 2015 Course - Full Article

August 4, 2015
Mongol Derby

The 2015 Mongol Derby start gun fires at 10am (local time). This is the course they'll be racing
To balance out the tougher technical ride we're giving the riders a racing line this year

- An extra 3 Urtuus (horse stations) through the hills
- An extra day's racing, winner expected after 8 days
- All new racing line to take the focus from navigation to riding
- A linear course offering more varied terrain ending further north

We wanted to mix things up a bit for the 2015 Derby and our new course looks and feels a world different.

The linear course ending up in the north by Lake Khovsgol should be cooler than in previous years. There will also be a lot more hilly terrain for the second half of the race. Because of the additional demands of the mountains the Urtuus will be closer together.

The additional horse stations together with a longer route are expected to add an extra day to the course. The champion is expected to finish within 8 days (possibly by the evening of the 7th) and the course will close on day 10...

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