Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Take it from the youngest winner of the toughest horse race: "We all have a bold mode"

Salon.com - Full Article

Salon talks to Lara Prior-Palmer about "Rough Magic" and her historic 2013 win of the grueling Mongol Derby

MAY 6, 2019 8:59PM (UTC)

In 2013, Lara Prior-Palmer became the youngest rider and the first woman to win the Mongol Derby, a grueling endurance race across 1,000 kilometers of the Mongolia Steppe. The 10-day cross-country race retrace's Genghis Khan's horse messenger system route from the 13th century. Londoner Prior-Palmer, 19 at the time and a year out of high school with "dead end jobs" and equestrian competitions occupying her time as she waited to hear about applications to work in an orphanage in Ethiopia or an organic farm in Wales, embarked on this adventure not after training for years with dedication and purpose but after coming across the race's website — entry deadline already blown, the fee more than she could afford — and entering, by her own admission, on a whim.

It was going to be either too much, as Prior-Palmer puts it, or nothing at all. Her aunt, the World Champion equestrian Lucinda Greene, tells her matter-of-factly, "I suspect you won't make it past day three, but don't be disappointed..."

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