ABC.net.au - Full Story
July 21 2017
By Kristy O'Brien and Neda Vanovac
When people hear that Jodie Ward is planning to ride 1,000 kilometres across the Mongolian steppe on semi-broken ponies as part of the world's longest and toughest horse race, they immediately ask her two questions.
"The first question is, 'are you crazy?' The second question is, 'what would make you want to do something like that?'" Ms Ward laughed.
"And then, 'you must be a good horseperson,'... Well, no!"
Ms Ward, who lives in Katherine, has completed some 40 to 120 kilometre-horseback endurance races in the past, but nothing like the mammoth undertaking ahead of her, riding 120 to160km per day for about 10 days during the Mongol Derby.
Only one in every 40 applicants makes it through the screening process to be selected to race along Genghis Khan's ancient mail delivery route across the remotest parts of the vast country, but for Ms Ward, it only took three days from her initial application being submitted to getting the nod.
"I was so surprised, I didn't think I would be qualified or I would have a chance," she said.
She said the interview process was a test of would-be riders' mettle...
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