Monday, November 25, 2019

‘My period wasn’t my top concern’: Lara Prior-Palmer on bleeding on the saddle during world's longest horse race win - Full Story

By Molly McElwee
25 NOVEMBER 2019

here is a paragraph in Rough Magic, Lara Prior-Palmer’s memoir on becoming the first female, and youngest, winner of the Mongol Derby, the longest horse race in the world, that any woman can relate to – the unexpected, wholly inconvenient arrival of her period.

“As of this morning, I’ve been bleeding onto the saddle,” she writes. “I forgot to take the pills that keep my period away. Its ­arrival strikes me as odd, ­perhaps because I feel the Derby has suspended ordinary life’s monthly cycles.”

Prior-Palmer had not been the best prepared for the six-day 1,000 -kilometre race across the Mongolian Steppe, riding around 25 wild ponies along a route based on the horse-messenger system developed by Genghis Khan in 1224. She had signed up seven weeks before the start, about 10 months after every other competitor, and was ignorant of the most basic practicalities. From forgetting to pack toilet roll and naively asking the organisers, “Will anyone be waking us up in the mornings?”, tampons and the contraceptive pill fell pretty low on her agenda...

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