Wednesday, August 10, 2016

2016 Mongol Derby: Day 7

Richard Dunwoody photo

Day 7 is over. Tonight, Heidi Telstad, William Comiskey and Marcia Hefker-Miles are at Urtuu 27. They have only one leg to go. It'll all be decided tomorrow.

Every single person in the field is riding fantastically well:

"All these riders are absolute troopers. It's easy to forget that everyone left in the race is doing 120-150kms in a day. Fantastic riders and great horses." - Katy, Race Chief

Tonight, USA rider Marie Griffis is without her steed. She dismounted for a toilet break in the woods and her horse trotted off without her, taking all her belongings. She looked for three hours in a steep sided valley between Urtuu 22 and 23 before admitting defeat and requesting help from our event teams. The verdict from the horse's owner? "Ah. Yes, he's done this before." If only she'd known.

"Its such a shame, she's been so competent. We're hoping the horse will turn up in the morning as they often do. We're pretty sure we can kit her up to ride on, after she's served the penalty for the help. Rubbish luck, but fair." - Katy, Race Chief

Venetia Philips and Tatiana Mountbatten are tonight camping between Urtuu 26 and 27 after a devastating day: the sudden death of Tatiana's horse between Urtuus. A post mortem examination has concluded. The vet identified a massive diaphragmatic rupture, which he believes to be a congenital defect or legacy of an old kick injury. The horse had been cleared by vets on leaving Urtuu 23, and there is nothing to indicate that the rupture was caused by strenuous exercise or Tatiana's riding. The horse's owner is Jamiyanmyadag. He has been informed, compensated and will receive our ongoing support. If you'd like to read more, there is a full statement here.
The rest of the field saw some rider retirements from Krista Donnelly and returning veteran, Anna Christina De Jonquieres. Both riders are this evening in good spirits but the wear and tear of the race has defeated them. Chips Broughton has also re-retired. He had a fall on Day 5, rejoined the race on Day 6 and has today decided to retire and allow his injuries heal comfortably.

Finally, a comment from one of yesterday's retirees, Cochetta Crowley: "The mountain passes in the Blood Wagon [support vehicle] were far scarier than they would be on a horse." Mongolia is better by horse.

Follow @MongolDerbyLive on Twitter for live commentary on Day 8. The course opens at 7am.

All the riders are being tracked live. Find out all the ways you can follow the race on the Live Tracking Dashboard.

We'll be back on Wednesday 10th August with the best photo and updates from Day 7. Until then, here's the Day 7 Leaderboard. and a reminder of the Derby penalty system.