Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Mongol Derby: The Ride of Her Life

Jocelyn Pierce (right) riding with Michael Turner in Mongolia. Photo courtesy of Mongol Derby.

BethesdaMagazine.com - Full Story

A Rockville woman recently finished the Mongol Derby, known as the longest and toughest horse race in the world
BY CARALEE ADAMS | Published: 2018-10-29

As soon as Jocelyn Pierce finished her first pony ride at the age of 2, she got back in line for another turn. She started riding lessons when she was 4 and had her own horse by the time she was 10. Pierce competed in jumping and dressage events while growing up in Massachusetts and was on the riding team at Otterbein University in Ohio, where she minored in equine science and got a degree in international studies.

After moving to Rockville in 2015, Pierce continued to ride as a hobby. An associate editor at Practical Horseman magazine in Frederick, she is immersed in the horse world professionally. This past August, she saddled up for a new challenge: the Mongol Derby, dubbed the longest and toughest horse race in the world. From a pool of about 200 hopefuls, she was one of 44 riders selected for the endurance event, in which riders trek across about 600 miles of rugged terrain in Mongolia over the span of about a week to 10 days.

Pierce, 31, followed the Mongol Derby for years but had never participated in an endurance race and didn’t even consider applying until August 2017, after one of her colleagues competed in it. “I was hooked by the adventure, the competition, and was intrigued with how the Mongolian people have a huge history and connection to the horse,” says Pierce...

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