MongolDerby.com - Full Story
August 15, 2018
There we have it – the team of Annabel Neasham & Adrian Corboy have gone and done it: they’re joint winners of the tenth Mongol Derby. Adrian Corboy, leaving Australia for the first time in his life, had three weeks to lose nine kilos and do some packing when he stepped in for Ciaron Maher at the last minute. Neither he nor Annabel are endurance riders; Adrian backs and breaks racehorses, while Annabel is a CCI* level eventer from the UK who now works for Ciaron Maher racing in Australia. And yet they beat a field of experienced riders which included DH – a very experienced endurance rider from the USA who was here to compete in her third derby. How did they do it?
When the gun went, DH [Devan Horn] shot to the front as expected. As in previous years she raced hard, choosing horses that looked fast but also looked as if they might have fire in their bellies. AC and AN took a different approach. They had a strategy from the start, Adrian said, and despite being under a lot of pressure, first catching DH and then after DH was awarded the pivotal vet penalty, maintaining their lead. As ever, horse selection was key, as Annabel pointed out at the finish line:
“I think horse selection was a big thing – we got good at picking horses. You’ve got to pick a horse with a bit of length to it, a deep girth and a good shoulder that shows a few ribs. A lot of people said before we left that we should skip the racing ponies. They’re the skinny ones. We had a go with a couple of those but they’re on the steal all the time and they burn too much petrol early on. So it was about picking the herder’s own horse that they use to go and check the herd because they’re fit...”
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