Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Canada: Training for the Mongol Derby requires endurance — and lots of horses - Full Article

Kelsey Opstad rides horses at Prince George facility from morning till night in preparation for big event

CBC News · Posted: Jul 23, 2018

Kelsey Opstad lies in bed at night, unable to sleep, as she ticks through the list of everything she needs to do before she leaves for Asia in a week.

Opstad, who is from Anchorage, Alaska, has been training at the B.C. Appaloosa Centre in Prince George since May in preparation for a 10-day horse race in Mongolia.

"I picked the B.C. Appaloosa Centre for the sheer number of horses," said Opstad, explaining that she can work with lots of younger, less experienced horses at the centre, which will more closely mimic the horses she'll be riding across the Mongolian plains.

The Mongol Derby, now in its ninth year, is a 1,000-kilometre equestrian endurance race. It is intended to recreate Genghis Khan's famous postal system.

Riders travel for 10 days to different checkpoints, 36 kilometres apart, at which point they switch horses. In all, racers ride 30 different horses...

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