Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Conquering the Mongol Derby

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Written by: Amy Harris

Canadian Heidi Telstad won the 8th annual Mongol Derby in a three-way tie.

Last November, Heidi Telstad, a 43-year-old lawyer from Vancouver, British Columbia, posted the first entry in her Chase Endurance blog on Horse-Canada.com. She planned to chronicle her experience preparing for and competing in the 2016 Mongol Derby – the world’s longest and toughest horse race. Along the way, she hoped to raise funds for the BC Epilepsy Society, through Canada Helps, in honour of her nephew, four-year-old Chase.

Not only was Heidi successful in raising money and awareness for the charity, but she rocketed to equestrian fame when she actually won the race, in a three-way tie. It is the first time in the competition’s eight-year history that riders chose to cross the finish line together – a true testament to the camaraderie between Heidi and her co-winners, 28-year-old Will Comiskey from Australia and 45-year-old Marcia Hefker-Miles from New Mexico.

Held in August each year, the 1,000km race recreates Chinggis Khan’s legendary messenger and supply route on the Mongolian steppe, with riders changing horses every 40km, and living with local herders or camping out each night.

Heidi, Will and Marcia met before the start of race, and spent time together during training. Heidi and Will decided to pair up and rode together for the duration of the ride.

“Will and I raced hard against Marcia,” said Heidi. “She had a lot of tricks up her sleeve and I respect her competitiveness. I learned a lot from her before, during and after the race. Marcia was really fast at the Urtuus [horse stations] and would get on the steppe much faster than we did...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/magazine_articles/conquering-the-derby/