Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Wales: Disappointment for Fiona as championships are postponed

AbergavennyChronicle.com - Full Article

4th October 2022 4:00 am

The owner of a horse-riding school in Llangattock has qualified for the Equestrian Endurance World Championships in Verona, Italy with her horse, Balishla.

62-year-old Fiona Griffiths from Bwlch has run Golden Castle Riding School for 30 years but has always enjoyed competing in endurance as well.

She has spent the last 18 years training a horse to be fit enough to represent Great Britian.

Fiona and Balishla needed to gain many qualifications and win competitions to qualify including completing two gruelling 160km rides in one day...

Read more here:
https://www.abergavennychronicle.com/news/disappointment-for-fiona-as-championships-are-postponed-566420

Shaikh Nasser Wins: His Majesty closely followed Royal Team in Spanish race

GDNOnline.com - Full Article

3 October 2022

His Majesty King Hamad’s representative for humanitarian work and youth affairs and Royal Endurance Team captain Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa has written another chapter in the history of Bahrain by winning the title of the FEI World Endurance Championship for eight-year-old horses in Spain, outclassing 57 elite riders representing 20 countries in the 120km race.

Shaikh Nasser clocked 6 hours, 20 minutes and 10 seconds on his way to victory...

Read more here:
https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/1144160

Monday, October 03, 2022

Kilmurry McMahon’s Martin gearing up for 2023 Mongol Derby

ClareEcho.ie - Full Article

Páraic McMahon
September 28, 2022

KILMURRY MCMAHON native Martin McMahon has been selected as one of only 40 riders to compete in the 2023 Mongol Derby, the longest and toughest equestrian race in the world.

He has accepted the challenge as a means of raising funds for three charities close to his heart, Pieta House, the Irish Cancer Society and MS Ireland, and is now embarking on a major fundraising drive to enable him to partake in this gruelling race and by doing so to assist his chosen charities.

This 1,000-kilometre race, which takes place in August annually, has no marked course, no packed lunches, and no beds to sleep on, with each race participant required to navigate and survive on their own, relying on their life and horsemanship skills to steer 25 semi-wild Mongolian horses during the entire race...

Read more here:
https://www.clareecho.ie/kilmurry-mcmahons-martin-gearing-up-for-mongol-derby/

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

XXXI Brazilian Endurance Championship in Brasília

Endurance-world.com - Full Article

Info@endurance-world.com
2nd September 2022

Brasília, Brazil. Friday 19 and Saturday 20 August 2022

On the weekend of August 19th and 20th the XXXI Brazilian Endurance Championship was held in Brasília, capital of Brazil. The Championship took place in Brasília’s Country Club facilities with the tracks going through Brasília’s University Farm (Fazenda Água Limpa – FAL – UnB), with breathtaking views and a perfect windy dry weather. Distances offered included the 20 and 40 km in the Graded Endurance Ride and 40, 60, 80, 100, 120 and 160 km against the clock.

The championship united people from different states from Brazil, including Paraná, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Distrito Federal and Rio de Janeiro. In total, there were 92 riders, of which 19 were disqualified. This was the first Brazilian endurance competition with live broadcast and where all competitors were equipped with a GPS tracking device during the race...

Read more at:
https://endurance-world.com/xxxi-brazilian-endurance-championship-in-brasilia/

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Wondai rider wins Queensland endurance event

Sarah Sullivan photo

NoosaToday.com - Article and photos

19/09/2022

Victoria Barber proves to be a champion in the true sense of the word, as ERLE LEVEY reports.

BREAKOUT QUOTE

“I’m still learning from horses … they teach us every day.’’

Wondai rider, trainer and endurance horse breeder Virginia Barber is a champion in the true sense of the word.

Not only does Virginia encourage other riders to participate in the sport, she is now Queensland Endurance Riding Association (QERA) State Champion 2022...

Read more here:
https://noosatoday.com.au/news/19-09-2022/wondai-rider-wins-queensland-endurance-event/

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

FEI reopens Bid Process for FEI Endurance World Championship 2022 following cancelation of Verona

Inside.FEI.org

8 September 2022

On 8 September 2022, the FEI Board confirmed the termination of the Host Agreement for the FEI Endurance World Championship 2022 that had been set to take place in Verona (ITA) from 19 to 23 October. The decision, taken during the Board’s monthly teleconference, also includes the provision to reopen the bid process in order to find a new host for the Championship.

The resolution puts an end to a lengthy preparation process, which began after the event’s allocation by the FEI Board in December 2020. It also confirms a formal notice of termination of the Host Agreement sent to the Verona Organising Committee on 26 August 2022, reflecting the FEI’s concerns including but not limited to track readiness, athlete safety, and the lack of detailed planning schedules in the lead up to the Championship. Following the notice of termination, the Organising Committee was given 10 days to remedy the situation and address the issues raised.

During the teleconference, the Board reviewed the documents and responses received from the Organising Committee as well as the feedback from the Technical Delegates on the latest information provided. The FEI Board also took note of the tight deadlines for the completion of the track due to the delays in planning and necessary upgrades, as well as the constraints on carrying out the necessary work during the month of September until early October due to the Fiera del Riso taking place at the same venue. The FEI Board could only conclude that, regretfully, the information and details provided by the Organising Committee were insufficient to justify maintaining the Championship.

“This was not a decision we took lightly, as we fully understand the ramifications it will have, but we had to take our responsibilities and respect the assessment of our technical experts,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “We waited until now, because we had genuinely hoped that the issues that had been previously raised with the Organising Committee would have been resolved following several site visits and meetings, but unfortunately, this was not the case. To cancel earlier would have been premature, and to cancel any later, would have been even more disruptive.

“There is no doubt a lot of hard work and commitment, both from the Organising Committee and the FEI, as well as numerous experts have gone into the planning of this event.

“This is really unfortunate for everyone involved but if the experts are of the opinion that the safety of the athletes - both human and equine – cannot be guaranteed, the Board has no other option but to follow their recommendations.

“Athletes around the world, as well as National Federations have been preparing for this Championship, and we are extremely conscious of the impact the cancellation will have on their plans. However, previous experiences have taught us that there is no room for compromise when it comes to athlete and horse welfare. We will now focus all our attention on finding a new host for the FEI Endurance World Championship.”

The Board decided that the rescheduled Championship should take place no later than 30 April 2023 to allow organisers from all regions of the world to bid and given that other FEI Endurance Championships are scheduled to take place later in 2023. The bid process for the Championship will be reopened on Monday, 12 September when the application criteria and allocation deadlines will be announced.

The qualification obtained for the FEI Endurance World Championship 2022 will remain valid and the nominated entries will be reopened with an extended qualification window.

Doddie'5 Dazzlers raise £40,000 for MND research

BorderTelegraph.com - Full Article

11 September 2022
By John Hislop

TWO Borders women known as Doddie’5 Dazzlers have pushed their bodies to the limit in the world’s longest and toughest horse race.

And in the process they have raised around £40,000 to help find a cure for MND.

In 1224 Genghis Khan set up the world’s first long-distance postal transmission system, using a massive network of horse stations known as Urtuus at 35km intervals.

And for ten days each August, the Mongol Derby recreates this legendary system along the entire 1,000km course.

Riders use semi-broken Mongolian horses which are only 12-14 hands high, but they are the toughest and most fit-for-purpose partners imaginable.

Last month Alice Gully, 46, from Heriot and Kate Mactaggart, 46, from Jedburgh took part in the race, riding in temperatures which ranged from freezing to 38 degrees centigrade. The pair survived ‘brutal’ conditions along the 1,000km route across mountains, rivers and desert through the Mongolian Steppe, living on a diet of offal and mutton...

Read more here:
https://www.bordertelegraph.com/news/21253141.doddie5-dazzlers-raise-40-000-mnd-research/

Monday, September 12, 2022

Endurance World Championship 2022 Needs New Venue

HOrsesport.com - Full Artice

The FEI has reopened the bid process after terminating the host agreement with the Verona organizing committee for the event Oct. 19-23.

By: FEI Communications | September 9, 2022

On 8 September 2022, the FEI Board confirmed the termination of the Host Agreement for the FEI Endurance World Championship 2022 that had been set to take place in Verona (ITA) from 19 to 23 October. The decision, taken during the Board’s monthly teleconference, also includes the provision to reopen the bid process in order to find a new host for the Championship.

The resolution puts an end to a lengthy preparation process, which began after the event’s allocation by the FEI Board in December 2020. It also confirms a formal notice of termination of the Host Agreement sent to the Verona Organising Committee on 26 August 2022, reflecting the FEI’s concerns including but not limited to track readiness, athlete safety*, and the lack of detailed planning schedules in the lead up to the Championship. Following the notice of termination, the Organising Committee was given 10 days to remedy the situation and address the issues raised.

During the teleconference, the Board reviewed the documents and responses received from the Organising Committee as well as the feedback from the Technical Delegates on the latest information provided. The FEI Board also took note of the tight deadlines for the completion of the track due to the delays in planning and necessary upgrades, as well as the constraints on carrying out the necessary work during the month of September until early October due to the Fiera del Riso taking place at the same venue. The FEI Board could only conclude that, regretfully, the information and details provided by the Organising Committee were insufficient to justify maintaining the Championship...

Read more here:
https://horsesport.com/horse-news/endurance-world-championship-2022-needs-new-venue/#:~:text=Endurance%20World%20Championship%202022%20Needs%20New%20Venue%20The,19-23.%20By%3A%20FEI%20Communications%20%7C%20September%209%2C%202022

Verona loses right to host FEI Endurance World Champs

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

September 10, 2022
Horsetalk.co.nz

Verona has lost the hosting rights for the 2022 FEI Endurance World Championships that were to have run in Italy from October 19 to 23, and the FEI is seeking new bids for the event.

The cancellation was formally advised following FEI concerns “including but not limited to track readiness, athlete safety, and the lack of detailed planning schedules” in the lead-up to the event. Following the notice of termination, the organising committee was given 10 days to remedy the situation and address the issues raised.

At its meeting via teleconference on September 8, the FEI Board “could only conclude that, regretfully, the information and details provided by the organising committee were insufficient to justify maintaining the championship”...

Read more here:
https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2022/09/10/verona-loses-fei-endurance-world-champs/

Monday, September 05, 2022

Canada: A race of a different kind

BrandonSun.com - Full Article

By: Karen McKinley
Posted: 3:02 AM CDT Monday, Sep. 5, 2022

It wasn’t your typical trail race on Saturday, with endurance riders and ultramarathoners meeting to see whether horses or humans are better at long-distance racing.

Four ultramarathoners and three endurance riders hit the trails early in the morning to take on a 50-mile (80.4 kilometre) course as part of a fun fundraiser for Souris River Bend Wildlife Management Area, as well as a training run for runners and riders.

The endurance riders — Ethen Garn, Wendy Carnegie and Shannon Lightfoot — were the first to mount up and go at 8 a.m. as soon as their horse were cleared to ride by veterinarian Glenn Sinclair. At 8:30 a.m. sharp, ultramarathoners Mark Timmons, Clayton Swanton, Roxanne Moreau and Corey Mohr headed down the river trail and on to their leg of the race...

Read more here:
https://www.brandonsun.com/local/2022/09/05/a-race-of-a-different-kind

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Great Britain: Organisers of The Red Dragon Ride Subsidize Costs to Support Riders



EGB.Myclubhouse.co.uk

The British Horse Feeds & The Golden Paste Company’s Red Dragon Festival of Endurance: Costs Reduced to Support Riders

The Red Dragon Festival of Endurance (30 September – 2 October 2022) is set to be a bumper year as organisers have subsidised stabling costs to support competitors and ensure the event remains popular despite the increased cost of living.

Long-standing title sponsors, British Horse Feeds (BHF) and The Golden Paste Company (GPCo), are thrilled to continue with their support and provide hundreds of pounds worth of prizes, as well as hosting the Best Crew Member recognition award.

Hattie I’Anson, BHF and GPCo International Business & Strategic Lead Manager said: “It is great that Red Dragon has gone from strength-to-strength despite the challenges it has faced over the last few years. This is testament to the hard work of the organisers and volunteers who keep the show on the road and do an incredible job.

“We have some great prizes for riders this year, including Speedi-Beet, Fibre-Beet, Cooked Linseed and the natural turmeric supplement TurmerAid™.”

With classes for every level, from novice to experienced rider, this year’s competition at the Royal Welsh Showground is guaranteed to provide an exciting atmosphere for competitors as they head out into the breath-taking terrain of the Cambrian Mountains.

For 2022 the event is hosting the Riding Club Endurance Team Championship.

John Hudson, co-organiser of the event with his wife Jane said: “The names of British Horse Feeds and The Golden Paste Company have become synonymous with Red Dragon. We are so pleased to be working closely with Hattie and her team again. We are looking forward to a great weekend of endurance riding at all levels.”

One of the most highly anticipated events in the endurance calendar and a culmination of the season for many riders, this year’s event is not to be missed!

For more information and to enter click or tap on the link below:

The British Horse Feeds' & The Golden Paste Company's Red Dragon Festival of Endurance

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

FEI Issues Formal Notice of Termination for 2022 Verona WEC

August 29 2022

FEI World Endurance Championship Update

Last Friday, 26 August 2022, the FEI issued a formal notice of termination to the Organizing Committee for of the FEI World Endurance Championship 2022 in Verona (ITA) set to be held from 19-23 October.

The termination notice reflects the FEI's serious concerns regarding the planning and preparation of the Championship and specifically the readiness of the track, and is in line with the FEI's right to terminate as per Article 23b of the Horse Agreement (HA).

According to the Host Agreement, the Organizer has until 5 September (10 days from the receipt of the termination notice as per the HA) to remedy the situation.

We understand that National Federations are preparing travel and training arrangements, and while the final outcome of this process is yet to be known, we believe it is important that all National Federations are aware of the current situation.

Based on the feedback and responses received, the FEI Board will assess the situation at its Bard Teleconference on 8 September 2022 and decide whether the Championship in Verona can proceed or not at which point the FEI will inform all National Federations of the Board decision(s) and any other relevant information.

FEI Communications Department

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Survive Iceland Endurance Race Begins Today!

IHSGB.co.uk

August 25 2022

‼️SURVIVE ICELAND – the biggest endurance race‼️

The Icelandic equestrian association Landssamband hestamannafélaga] is organizing an AMAZING endurance race! 😍😍😍

Today will be the start of the 280km race, that will take 4 days. The route takes the riders across the Icelandic highlands.

10 teams from all over the world are going to compete in this spectacular event! 🤩 Vets are regularly going to check on the horses‘ welfare and the riders need to change horses every 25-35km 😍

This is an amazing and very different event and focuses a lot more on other qualities of our horses – compared to competitions. Stamina and strength will take you to your goal 🏆

We wish all horses, riders and organizers a healthy, fun and fair race! 😍

If you want to follow the race a little bit: the riders take spot trackers with them, so you can always see their position on this map: https://surviveiceland.samsyn.is/

Emirates Knights reap full mark in Rashford

PeriodicalToday.com - Full Aricle

The UAE riders won the full mark in their participation in the endurance races in the Rashford Arenas in Norfolk, Britain, and our riders excelled in the three rounds that started last June and concluded the day before yesterday through a group of races of different classification and distances.

August 23, 2022
By Tariq Saeed

The UAE riders won the full mark in their participation in the endurance races in the Rashford Arenas in Norfolk, Britain, and our riders excelled in the three rounds that started last June and concluded the day before yesterday through a group of races of different classification and distances.

The results of the last round, which spanned over two days, resulted in the jockey Salem Hamad Malhouf Al Ketbi winning first place for the second time in a row in the 160 km challenge, and Malhouf won the World Championship for the ability to ride “Aigol Email” for M7 Stables, and came in second place The jockey Abdullah Ghanem Al-Marri on the “Cali de Punklet” horse for F3 Stables, while the British rider won the third place on the “Majdi” horse...

Read more here:
https://periodicaltoday.com/emirates-knights-reap-full-mark-in-rashford/

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Australia: Endurance horse ride at Johns River attracts 100 riders

Photo:Jo Arblaster Animal Focus

ManningRiverTimes.com.au - Full Article

August 22 2022

A TOTAL of 110 endurance horse riders entered the inaugural Johns River Endurance Ride.

After four previous failed attempts to run the ride the organising committee was delighted as the weather was sensational for the event.

On Saturday 36 riders signed up for the shortest event, the 20km ride. More than a dozen of those backed up for another 40km event the next morning.

In the 80km ride there were 43 starters coming from all over NSW to try and gain one of the brand new ride Endurance Buckles. To Complete Is To win is the motto of endurance riding...

Read more here:
https://www.manningrivertimes.com.au/story/7872536/three-events-in-the-inaugural-johns-river-endurance-horse-ride/

Sunday, August 21, 2022

2022 August Mongol Derby: It’s an Asian Affair



Mongolians make their mark in the world’s toughest horse race, finishing first and joint second, as a Chinese rider completes the podium

After a two year absence, the world’s longest and toughest horse race, The Mongol Derby, was run twice this year to make up for lost time due to Covid. The first race in July was won by American Deirdre Griffith and South African Willemein Jooste, but the second edition had a more homely feel to it, with two Mongolians amongst the strong starting pack.

After a two year absence, the world’s longest and toughest horse race, The Mongol Derby, was run twice this year to make up for lost time due to Covid. The first race in July was won by American Deirdre Griffith and South African Willemein Jooste, but the second edition had a more homely feel to it, with two Mongolians amongst the strong starting pack.

Based on the ancient horse messenger system used by Genghis Khan, in a country where the horse is king, at 1000km the Derby is the toughest test on the planet for equestrian endurance riders. Whilst horses are changed roughly every 35km, at checkpoints strung out throughout the country, riders must endure being in the saddle for up to 200km a day and face the challenges of riding over twenty-eight different semi-wild horses, with varying temperaments and bucking abilities, the inevitable falls and mishaps that happen along the way and navigating through challenging terrain, from giant sand dunes to freezing mountain passes. 

The thirteenth Mongol Derby kicked off on the 10 th of August with a truly international field; 46 riders, from twelve different nations, with Swede Olof Sundstrom taking the early lead on day one.

Whilst the weather changed on day two, from blistering sunshine to near freezing rains, the lead didn’t. Then disaster befell the leader on day three, as Olof awoke to find his horse missing. He’d chosen to camp out alone to gain extra riding time, rather than spending the night at one of the horse stations. In this scenario riders ‘hobble’ their horses (loosely connecting their front legs together with rope to prevent them being able to roam too far), but Mongolian steeds have a knack of managing to hop away, as Olof found out. Whilst herders found the Swede’s horse, he had to hitch a ride to the next horse station and sit out a two hour penalty, his lead gone. By the end of the day eight riders were vying for the lead, spread out between horse stations 9 and 10.

Day four brought rain, a lot of it, which meant a new set of challenges for competitors, but not enough to separate anyone from the leading pack; as eight riders bedded down that evening, hoping their clothes might be a little drier in the morning.

Day five saw two riders drop away from the leading group, with six making it to horse station 17 together. American and Mongolian riders where showing particularly well with the six made up of - Abbi Bell (USA), Bilegbat Erdensukh (Mongolia), Callie King (USA), Erdene-Ochir Uuganbayar (Mongolia) Rochelle Latka (USA) and Victoria Wang (China).

The morning of day six and a new twist for the Mongol Derby. Station 17 was a ‘lottery station’. Normally riders get to pick their horses from a line-up, first come first served, but at lottery stations (as used throughout the Gaucho Derby – an epic Patagonian race with pack horses, also run by Mongol Derby organisers The Equestrianists) riders have to ride what they’re given:

“This levels the playing field somewhat, and, to be frank, makes the whole thing a damn sight more exciting as a spectator sport.” – Tom Morgan, founder of The Equestrianists

Despite an initial fall from Rochelle Latka, on a particularly lively steed, the first lottery station did little to separate the riders up front, with the Mongolians local skills coming in handy when Erdene-Ochir’s stirrup leather snapped and the two men (riding together) managed to fashion a replacement from a goat leather lead rein.

Stations 19 and 20 were also lottery stations. Riders are allowed two picks and can swap their first horse for another if they’re not happy with their initial decision. Both Abbi Bell and Victoria Wang, took advantage of this after their first picks were a little too ‘spirited’, opting for safer, but perhaps slower, rides. This saw them both fall behind the leaders, as did Rochelle Latka, leaving just American Callie King in joint lead with the two Mongolians at horse station 21.

Day seven saw Callie sneak ahead of the Mongolians, with Erdene-Ochir finally hitting the deck as he was thrown off a particularly acrobatic livewire, proving even the locals can get caught out. He quickly made up for his mistake by rapidly catching Callie, before overtaking her to take the lead into the evening, with Callie just ahead of Bilegbat, Victoria and Rochelle.

With only three legs of racing left on the final day (at least for those at the head of the race), riders were on edge. Little separated the top five and everyone wanted to ride fast, if they pushed too hard however they risked getting a penalty (added time at the end) if their horse’s heart rate didn’t drop quickly enough, which, at this stage in the race, would inevitably mean throwing away any chance of a win.

In the end it was the Asian riders who got this fine balance right, with Erdene-Ochir Uuganbayar managing to keep hold of his overnight lead and 19 year old Bilegbat Erdensukh and Victoria Wang crossing together in joint second, Callie King taking a very well fought fourth place.

“It’s brilliant for the race to get its first outright Mongolian win and I hope riders from around the world continue to get inspired by The Mongol Derby. Life in general is overtly manicured, we need a bit of toughness and chaos to dig deep and find out what we are really capable of." – Tom Morgan,
The Equestrianists founder

Visit www.equestrianists.com for more details

Comments from the finish line:

FIRST PLACE
Erdene-Ochir Uuganbayar
28 years old

Current City/State/Country of residence
Mongolia, Tuv province, Altanbulag soum, 2nd bag
Erdene-Ochir Uuganbayar

What was it like crossing the finish line as the winner of the world’s toughest horse race?

I’ve never crossed a finish line like this before so I never knew what that was like. When people welcomed me with cheers, milk and a Khadag (ceremonial scarf), it was amazing. I thought to myself how wonderful Mongolian culture and tradition is. The most beautiful moment was when I was coming in through the banners. I have never competed in a big international competition like this before, so winning this is truly an honour and brings me great pride. I think of it as one big lucky strike in the one life that was granted to me.
 
Do you have a favourite memory from the race that you could tell us about?
 
It was the times I spent with the other amazing racers from overseas. We communicated with each other using body language and hand gestures. If we (the Mongolian riders) were also abroad, we would’ve faced all the challenges they were going through in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. So helping them along the way, using hand gestures to communicate with each other, was the most memorable moment for me. 

You had such a positive attitude for the entirety of the race. How did you keep your spirits high
even through adversities? 

Throughout the race I thought to myself how wonderful it would be if we all treated each other so nicely, kindly and with a big smile. I am a man who always has a smile on their face. I thought to myself that we as Mongolians should show the world that we are people with joy and happiness on our faces, not melancholy or anger. They probably wonder what we are like.
 
You rode a few legs with Bilegbat, the one other Mongolian competitor. How was it being able to
ride together?

Riding with Bilegbat was great, we used to talk about crossing the finish line together but unfortunately he received a 4 hour penalty at station 22. He said to me it would be ridiculous to wait for him for 4 hours, so I rode on. I didn’t think to compete with Bilegbat, but rather wanted to bring fame and glory to my country Mongolia, to cross the finish line showing our way of life that is so  intertwined with our horses and animals. It was awesome riding with Bilegbat, he is very talkative and we discussed every topic during our rides together. We became very close and had many discussions.

There were a lot of new things you had to learn for this race including the navigation systems and
the vetting process. How was that? Is there anything you learned during the race that you will keep with you?
 
What I learned is how to use a GPS, which I’ve never used before. GPS shows you a direct way, which was a bit difficult. When I followed the GPS direct line, there would mountain after mountain. When
 you cross over many mountains, your horse wouldn’t go eventually. But I learned my lesson in the end. Instead I used the topography map and tried riding through the open plain. Otherwise, there would be mountains. Horses wouldn’t really go over rocky hilly terrains no matter what. English is definitely needed when riding with other fellow riders to understand each other. I learned a few words and phrases from my fellow riders. 

I’ve learned several sentences and phrases that I can use when meeting with foreign people, which I’m keeping to use later. As Mongolians we’ve never listened to the heart rates of the horses, we only ride them when we need to, but in truth we should calm the horses when we reach our destination. From the race and vet check, I’ve learned to keep the horses calm and to love them. In the future I’ll be keeping these vet parameters, as I love my horses.
 
 JOINT SECOND PLACE

Victoria Wang
31 years old

Current City/State/Country of residence, City/State/Country you are originally from and what’s
your link to New Zealand?

I currently live in Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand. I am originally from Beijing, China.
 
 I was working and living in New Zealand for around 5 years, but none of my family is living in New
Zealand - everyone is back home in Beijing.

It’s the world’s toughest horse race for a reason, what was the toughest part for you? Can you
describe a moment where you really had to pull through either mentally or physically?
 
 The toughest part for me was the pre-race preparation before flying out to Mongolia - it was like a  mental torture sometimes. The Mongol Derby is not something you see or experience every day, so I did not have any clue whether my preparation was in the right way or not. I tried to contact the previous riders for tips or to study the YouTube videos uploaded by other riders, but still I felt quite unsure and anxious all the time about the race. I made a training plan for myself, but every day I felt I hadn’t trained enough, so the three months before August I was always living in anxiety, and I had to convince myself that the gym work was progressing.

During the race I did experience some tough time, but not too bad. One moment I did not expect was between HS22 and HS23, I made a wrong horse selection and my horse parked half way - he wouldn’t move at all unless I got off and led him forward. It was about 12km away from HS23, and it was in the hottest time of the day. There were several big mountains in front of us. When I realised that I had to walk for the rest of the leg, I was a bit lost and did not know what to do. Luckily it didn’t take too long for me to get my brain to work again. I calculated the time and it wasn’t too bad, even if I walked to HS23, so then I accepted the reality and pulled myself together and started walking forward.
 
There were several highs and lows in the race, what was your high?

The highlight was riding a beautiful grey horse from HS25 to HS26. I spotted the horse because he was wearing a special halter, and then the herder led him out of the group and he just looked strong and fast. When I rode him out of the horse station I could not hold him at all. At one second I thought I was going to die because if I lost my balance and fell off at that speed I definitely will have some serious injury. Then he slowed down slightly and I got all the control back. He just kept going for the rest of the leg at an enjoyable speed, and remained in balanced movement. Very special horse.

A lot of riders race to raise funds for a charity close to their hearts. Who was your charity and how
did you decide to raise funds for them?

There are three charities…
 
 • Steppe and Hoof, Mongolia - www.steppeandhoof.org
Steppe and Hoof is set up to help herders and their animals in Mongolia. Without the local herders and the mighty Mongolian horses we could not enjoy the Mongol Derby at all, so they need to be looked after well.
 
• HOPE Equestrian Therapeutic Centre, China - www.hopebeijing.org/english/home
 
As a Beijing local, I hope that more people in China could get interested in horses, and that they can also understand that horses are not just for entertainment or competitions, sometimes horses can help the general public in their daily lives.
 
• Beyond the Barriers, New Zealand - www.beyondthebarriers.co.nz/page/about
They give retired racehorses a second career to develop and help them to find a good home after  racing. Definitely plays an important role in the racing industry and I respect them a lot.
 
 What was it like crossing the finish line in second place of the world’s toughest horse race?

It still feels unreal. I did not expect I could get the second place tie because there are so many riders 
who are more professional than I am. I would have been happy enough if I just completed the race without any penalties, so this result is like the icing on the cake.

JOINT SECOND PLACE

Bilegbat Erdensukh
19 years old

Current City/State/Country of residence
Mongolia, Tuv Province, Bayan Soum, 3rd bag
Bilegbat Erdenesukh

What excited you most about this race and the challenge that comes with it?

The moment the race started and everyone bolted out of the start line was truly an exciting moment, I felt so many different feelings all at once. I thought to myself, “Wow, I guess this is how competitive and fast we’ll be competing throughout the race!” But I came to learn that that wasn’t the case at all. When it comes to moving from horse station to horse station, it’s mostly a game of who is smarter and more tactical. I had to learn to navigate, make sure the horses’ heart rate and physical well-being was sorted and also to let the vet know the horses’ scars and scratches. I always had to remind myself to not forget to do this.

What is your background with horses? And what is your current day-to-day like?

I was 4 years old when I first rode a horse and I was 5 when I competed for the first time in a horse race. I passed out on the horse during the race so I wasn’t able to place above 5th place. The second time I raced, there was really heavy rain and I got really hypothermic. An ambulance had to come and get me. A day in my life would be; in the summertime, I’d get up at 5am, work with my horses and graze them. From around 11am until 7pm, I’d just be outside tending to the horses, watering  them, scraping their sweat, and at night I’d water them again and let them graze. My summers are usually spent outside with the horses, in the middle of the steppe.

You were in last place after the first day of the race and made an incredible come back, passing 10
people on the second day. Tell us how you kept your mind in the race and managed to pull off
such an impressive feat.

It didn’t feel difficult as I figured there was definitely an opportunity when I noticed how most of the
riders weren’t far ahead of me.

When I found out I was in the lead I had much control. There wasn’t much need of staying in the stations for a long time. With only a cup of tea in my system I saved a lot of time, as opposed to the other riders who seemed to stay longer.   

What was it like crossing the finish line in second place of the world’s toughest horse race?

Thinking back now, I think my excitement stole a lot of my recollection of how I crossed the finish line. I wasn’t fully aware of what I was doing but I remember crossing hand in hand with Victoria Wang as we understood each other through hand signs very well. When I stood up raising my hand she instantly got my intention and we trotted in together.

 
 


Saturday, August 20, 2022

August Mongol Derby Day 10: Here comes the cavalry

Equestrianists.com - Full Article

Holly Conyers
20th August 2022

Mercifully for those still out on the steppe, the Mongolian weather gods awoke on Day 10 of the August 2022 Mongol Derby feeling a little ashamed of themselves for their stormy strop yesterday, and pulled out all the stops to redeem themselves. The sun was out, there was a pleasant breeze in the air, and nary a rain cloud in sight. Hallelujah.

With the inviting lights of the party at finish camp practically within sight this morning from HS27, just one final leg away, Brittany Hook (BHO) and Jessica Di Pasquale (JDP) sprang out of bed full of beans, ready to mount up and charge for the line at 7am on the dot. There was time for a final family portrait at HS27 before they started on their final leg of the adventure of a lifetime. The pair were the first to blaze through the flags at finish camp this morning, to many cheers from the assembled crowd...

Read more here:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/august-mongol-derby-day-10-here-comes-the-cavalry/

Friday, August 19, 2022

August Mongol Derby Day 9: When it rains, it pours

Equestrianists.com - Full Article

Holly Conyers
19th August 2022

If riders thought they had seen rain during the Derby so far, or for that matter anywhere else in their lives, Day 9 of the August 2022 Mongol Derby was here to laugh in their faces and highlight their ignorance. Crew members and riders alike were awoken this morning by the din of raindrops akin to bullets hammering gers and tents, as the previously amiable blue sky and fluffy clouds were replaced by a solid wall of dark grey cloud and sheets of driving rain, all hints of sunlight extinguished. Temperatures plummeted, boots filled with icy rain and substandard waterproofs were blasphemed and exchanged for dry crew kit. It’s been quite frankly hellish out there, but that hasn’t stopped 13 more of our astonishing August 2022 Mongol Derby cohort chugging over the finish line. And those who were still going by the mid afternoon were rewarded with another seismic change in the weather: a beautiful evening, complete with glowy pink sunset. Never a dull moment...

Read more here:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/august-mongol-derby-day-9-when-it-rains-it-pours/

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Swansea Building Society backs the Welsh Equine Endurance Team

Newdfromwales.co.uk - Full Article

August 18 2022
Lisa Baker, Editor, Welsh Business News & News from Wales

Swansea Building Society will sponsor the Welsh Equine Endurance Team for the second year running at the Home International Endurance Championships – one of the most prestigious equine events in Europe.

The event will take place between the 9th – 11th September at Longnewton, near Melrose, in the Scottish Borders. Last year, the Welsh team romped home to win the Celtic Challenge and came second in the Home International. This year, the team is aiming to go one better and win both trophies.

The competition has horses and riders competing over courses ranging from 40km in one day to a two-day 160km competitive endurance race contested by the Endurance GB home international teams: England, Scotland and Wales...

Read more here:
https://newsfromwales.co.uk/swansea-building-society-backs-the-welsh-equine-endurance-team/

August Mongol Derby Day 8: A home win

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Holly Conyers
17th August 2022

Day 8 of the August 2022 Mongol Derby, and we are bursting with pride to report that a first home-grown champion has done it: Erdene-Ochir Uuganbayar (EOU) has held off the pack of riders hounding him to clinch victory for Mongolia in the Mongol Derby. And what a champion he is: a supernaturally talented horseman with limitless reserves of good cheer and kindness, his elation on crossing the line will be a memory we cherish for a long time to come. Complete with a hands-free crossing, of course...

Read more here:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/august-mongol-derby-day-8-a-home-win/

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

August Mongol Derby Day 7: The heat is on



Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Holly Conyers
17th August 2022

Day 7 of the August 2022 Mongol Derby has drawn to a close. Our leading rider is only two horse stations from reaching nirvana: the finish line, complete with cold drinks, hot showers and clean clothes. And yet, it’s looking like the title could go down to our second nail-biting dash for the line of the summer. Erdene-Ochir Uuganbayar (EOU) has shaken off the rest of the leading pack and has made it to HS25, but the unflappable Callie King (CKI) continues with her quietly determined stormer of a race and lurks just behind him, camped between HS24 and HS25 and no doubt ready to launch herself back onto the steppe first thing in the morning. Which of these two, or any of the others snapping at their hocks, will hurtle over the line first?...

Read more here:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/august-mongol-derby-day-7-the-heat-is-on/

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

August Mongol Derby Day 6: Luck of the draw

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Holly Conyers
16th August 2022

Day 6 of the August 2022 Mongol Derby has drawn to a close, and things are heating up. After a long, hot day in the saddle, our leading trio of riders are camped at HS21, meaning only six horse stations remain between them and the finish line. If they keep up their current eye-watering pace, we could be crowning our victor in just two days’ time. But it’s still impossibly close to call: will the final champion be one of the group of six leading the race, separated by just one horse station tonight, or will a long shot tear through to the head of the pack? It’s all to play for, as we run through the day’s updates.

After the slightly soggy last couple of days, riders may have been relieved this morning to peek out of their gers at a gorgeous dewy morning, bright sunlight all around. Most riders spent the majority of the very toasty day (bar the odd summer shower) travelling along the beautiful Tuul River between HS15 to HS18, sacred to Mongolians...

Read more here:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/august-mongol-derby-day-6-luck-of-the-draw/

Monday, August 15, 2022

August Mongol Derby Day 5: Halfway horse

Equestrianists.com - Full Article

Holly Conyers 15th August 2022

Day 5 of the August 2022 Mongol Derby, and our glorious jockeys have made it at least halfway through the ride of a lifetime. Five days down, another five maximum to go (most likely less for our eventual winner). And yet, the podium positions remain too close to call. The leading pack, comprised of the six riders bedding down at HS17 tonight, has put some daylight between themselves and the next closest threats, a rival sextet stationed at HS16. But in Derby terms, a one horse station advantage is hardly cause for comfort: easily won or lost by a stroke of navigational genius or disaster; a champion racehorse or a steady plodder. The next few days remain crucial, as we take a look at how today’s events unfolded as competitors passed through pre-historic rock formations, sand dunes and hilly terrain...

Read more here:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/august-mongol-derby-day-5-halfway-horse/

Sunday, August 14, 2022

August Mongol Derby Day 4: Ride, rinse, repeat

Equestrianists.com - Full Article

Outlaw Kate
14th August 2022

Day 4 will go down in the riders’ memories as the day their gear either stood up to the ravages of weather or failed miserably while the skies chucked down moisture to an already saturated and soggy steppe. Did we mention that this race is tough? And Mother Nature can be a bitch? Not only are riders gunning for 100+ kilometers per day, they are withstanding incredible physical stress as they weather the weather and keep on pointing their horse’s nose towards that elusive finish line goal.

It’s at this point in the race that the little things matter: the candies/snuff/vodka graciously shared by the herder families at the horse stations; the warmth of the fire in the ger at the end of the day; the good humour of the medics as they patch up your butt. This race is an exercise in perseverance and an interesting case study on the effects of small acts of kindness, to say the least...

Read more at:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/august-mongol-derby-day-4-ride-rinse-repeat/

Saturday, August 13, 2022

August Mongol Derby Day 3: it ain’t over till it’s over

Equestrianists.com - Full Article

Outlaw Kate
13th August 2022

Day 3 of the Derby forced us to ditch everything we thought was a certainty when we shut the lights out on Day 2. At close of play yesterday the mighty Viking Olof OSU was sitting pretty, camped between HS6 – HS7 and while his lead was not substantial enough to completely disregard the chasing pack, it should have been sufficient to propel him to the next station and beyond with a bit of breathing space. However, the HQ switchboard sprang to life at 05:45 with this grim message from OSU relaying those fateful words: “Lost horse. I’ll go searching.”

Oh, the camping conundrum. As every Derby rider knows, camping is as much part of the Derby as chafed thighs or smelly socks and way more fun. But it comes with the risk that when you crack an eye open at 05:00 your horse might have hobble-hopped its way off to greener pastures, leaving you with a bewildered expression on your face, clutching an empty saddle...

Read more here:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/august-mongol-derby-day-3-it-aint-over-till-its-over/

Friday, August 12, 2022

August Mongol Derby Day 2: I get by with a little help from my friends

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Outlaw Kate
12th August 2022

Day 2 of the August 2022 Mongol Derby dawned clear and sunny but with a forecast of rain in the cards to shake things up a bit. Would those last-minute gear decisions – to pack or not to pack the rain pants – come back to bite any riders in the @ss? Not only must these riders withstand a grueling 12 hours plus in the saddle, but they must also look Mother Nature in the face and smile as she slaps them about the mug with blistering temperatures followed closely by near-freezing soggy conditions. Fortitude indeed...

Read more at:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/august-mongol-derby-day-2-i-get-by-with-a-little-help-from-my-friends/

FEI Tribunal issues Consent Award in equine anti-doping case

Inside.FEI.org

05 August 2022
Author: FEI

The FEI Tribunal has issued a Consent Award in an equine anti-doping case involving a Banned Substance.

In this case, the horse Dactyle D’Aqui (FEI ID 106XH16/UAE), tested positive for the Banned Substance Testosterone, following samples taken at the CEI2* 120 – Bou Thib (UAE), 24-25 December 2021.

The athlete Muhammad Ali Fazal Amin (FEI ID 10103705/PAK (UAE)) and the trainer, Ahmed Ali Salman Hassan Al Sabri (FEI ID 10041041/UAE), both elected to admit the rule violation and accept the consequences in order to benefit from a six-month reduction of the otherwise applicable ineligibility period of 18 months.

In its final decision the FEI Tribunal disqualified the athlete and the horse from the event and imposed an 18-month ineligibility period on the athlete and the trainer; the provisional suspension each already served shall be credited against the imposed ineligibility period. The Horse was provisionally suspended for 2 months as of the date of the Notification Letter. The athlete and Trainer were also fined CHF 5,000 each and the trainer was asked to pay costs of CHF 1,000.

More at:
https://inside.fei.org/media-updates/fei-tribunal-issues-consent-award-equine-anti-doping-case-4

Thursday, August 11, 2022

August Mongol Derby Day 1: The lone ranger

Equestrianists.com - Full Article

Holly Conyers
11th August 2022

A hot and heavy Day 1 of the August 2022 Mongol Derby draws to a close, and one brave man has proved he can handle the heat to propel himself into an early lead: Olof Sundstrom (OSU), a Swede bearing an improbable resemblance to his Viking forefathers, has arrived to conquer the steppe. Camping out with one of Mongolia’s many unbelievably hospitable families this evening, he is the only rider to have made it beyond HS3 today. But he’s in no position to rest easy: no less than 12 competitive riders have made it into HS3 tonight, just 8km behind him. Will he manage to put more distance between himself and the trailing pack tomorrow, or will they hunt him down?...

Read more here:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/august-mongol-derby-day-1-the-lone-ranger/

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

August Mongol Derby Pre-Race: Cleared for blast off

Equestrianists.com - Full Article

Holly Conyers
9th August 2022

We can’t quite believe our luck. The dust has barely settled on the steppe following the unbelievably high-octane return of the Mongol Derby in July after a two year hiatus and yet, here we are again: on the eve of another life-changing adventure for 46 riders from all corners of the globe successfully graduated from start camp, united by passion for the horse and a high pain threshold. What an absolute treat.

As usual, our team will be running themselves ragged to bring you live updates from the steppe on our social media pages, while daily race reports will be published here and live tracking will be available for the duration of the race after it kicks off tomorrow morning Mongolia time. Happily, you don’t have to wait until then for some top notch Derby drama. Start camp is only just wrapping up, and we have already had a taste of some of the excitement to come...

Read more at:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/august-mongol-derby-pre-race-cleared-for-blast-off/

Ding ding! Round Two: the August Mongol Derby is ready to roll

Equestrianists.com - Full Article

Outlaw Kate
8th August 2022

Just when you thought you couldn’t stand any more Derby excitement, the August Derby is on tap with 46 more intrepid riders from all corners of the globe itching to take on the longest and toughest horse race in the world.

The key factors remain the same: same course (only in reverse), same sorts of horses, same amazing Mongolian hospitality to sample along the way. Yet this will still be an incredibly unique race for these riders. The weather will throw everything at them, the steppe will challenge them, and just like the 46 riders who preceded them a few weeks ago, they will need to call forth all their preparations and experience to see them across the finish line...

Read more here:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/ding-ding-round-two-the-august-derby-is-ready-to-roll/

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

July Mongol Derby Day 10: That’s all, folks…until next week

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Holly Conyers
1st August 2022

We can’t quite believe it’s over. 10 days of top drawer thrills and spills later, all of our riders still out braving the steppe have ridden across the finish line, on another stupefyingly sunny day. A massive congratulations to all who participated for a superhuman achievement. We are busy totting up the final placings taking account of all those penalties and extra riding hours you’ve been reading about all week, but for now here is a rundown of the day’s action.

Closest to finish camp as the sun came up this morning were Lena Haug (LHA) and Kayleigh Davenport (KDA), camped just 10km shy of home. Holding their overnight position against those starting behind them at HS28, they were the first to storm across the finish line this morning, to raucous applause from the gathered crowds gathered. So raucous, in fact, that one of their two baffled mounts executed a swift about turn about 50 feet short of the line. Blip swiftly sorted, the two rode over the line together, hand in hand and enormous smiles plastered over their faces...

Read more here:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/july-mongol-derby-day-10-thats-all-folks-until-next-week/

Monday, August 01, 2022

July Mongol Derby Day 9: Coming in hot

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Holly Conyers
31st July 2022

The podium positions may have been decided yesterday, but Day 9 of the July 2022 Mongol Derby brought plenty more action and emotional scenes as the rest of the field continued to bomb across the steppe towards their goal. On another summer sizzler, 11 more incredible riders made it across the finish line, with the rest of the field inbound tomorrow.

Riding hours were extended until 20:00, in order to try and allow as many knackered, creaking bodies to get themselves across the finish line and into a hot shower sooner rather than later. We would like to say this is solely for their benefit, but we also have the crew coming into close contact with riders to think about, now that riders are generally smelt before they are spied coming into horse stations...

Read more here:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/july-mongol-derby-day-9-coming-in-hot/

July Mongol Derby Day 8: Here come the girls

Equestrianists.com

Holly Conyers
30th July 2022

Day 8 of the July 2022 Mongol Derby will go down as one of the most thrilling in Derby history. In scenes of unbelievable drama that went right down to the wire, Deirdre Griffith (DGR) and Willemien Jooste (WJO) held their nerve and rode a tactical blinder to snatch victory from right under the noses of Chris Walker (CWA) and Patrick Heffron (PHE), who had been clinging onto the lead since Day 4. Timing their move to perfection, the ladies, who had been snapping at the erstwhile leaders’ hocks for days, overtook them at HS27, the second last horse station before the finish line. A few hours of almost unbearable tension later, and they crossed the line holding hands to take joint first place. A stunning performance by two outstanding horsewomen and athletes. We salute you, ladies. Read on for the blow-by-blow account of how the day’s drama unfolded...

Read more at:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/july-mongol-derby-day-8-here-come-the-girls/

July Mongol Derby Day 7: Battle of the sexes

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Holly Conyers
29th July 2022

Day 7 draws to an end on the July 2022 Mongol Derby, and the tension has ratcheted up a notch at the head of the race. Overnight leaders Chris Walker (CWA) and Patrick Heffron (PHE) have ridden their pants off today to cling onto their advantage by a nose, camped at HS25. Still tantalisingly close behind them but just out of reach remain Deirdre Griffith (DGR), Willemien Jooste (WJO) and Tiffany Atteberry (ATA), riding hard and fast to reach a campsite between HS23 and HS25. Can the gents cling on until the finish line, just three horse stations away, or do the girls still have enough time to run them down?

Read more at:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/july-mongol-derby-day-7-battle-of-the-sexes/

Sunday, July 31, 2022

American and South African win world’s toughest horse race

Shari Thompson photo

July 331 2022

After a two year absence, the world’s longest and toughest horse race, The Mongol Derby, has been thundering across Mongolia’s steppe for the last eight days. In one of the closest ever races, an American and South African rode in joint winners yesterday.

Based on the ancient horse messenger system used by Genghis Khan, in a country where the horse is king, at 1000km the Derby is the toughest test on the planet for equestrian endurance riders. Whilst horses are changed roughly every 35km, at checkpoints strung out throughout the country, riders must endure being in the saddle for up to 200km a day and face the challenges of riding over twenty-eight different semi-wild horses, with varying temperaments and bucking abilities, the inevitable falls and mishaps that happen along the way and navigating through challenging terrain, from giant sand dunes to freezing mountain passes.

After the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 editions, the twelfth Mongol Derby kicked off on the 23rd of July and looked set to be one of the most fiercely contested races to date, with 46 riders, from ten different nations, competing for the prestigious win.

Day one saw young Kiwi pair, Sam Edney and Annie Hackett, take an early lead, as other racers suffered navigational errors and falls. By the end of day two riders had found their groove, and four had caught the Kiwis, as six riders bunked down together at station six - the race is made up of twenty eight stations, strung out along the route. Riders aim to be at one by the end of the riding day, but can opt to, or unintentionally, wild camp or try and find a friendly Mongolian family with space in a ger.

By day three riders were pulling out of the race with bruised and battered bodies (some chose to ride on with broken bones) whilst others served time penalties for riding past cut-off times the night before. The names changed, but the end of the day still saw six riders neck and neck, amongst them experienced riders Irishman Patrick Heffron and Brit Chris Walker.

The pair’s navigational nous saw them take a slender, but clear, lead on day four as the race hit some serious mountainous terrain and the weather deteriorated to ‘cold, wet and miserable’ - a sudden change for a field up until now more concerned with getting enough water on board than shaking it off.

Day five and the pair kept their lead, just, as they chose to wild camp only 18 minutes ahead of a chasing pack of seven, including American Diedre Jackson and South African Willemein Jooste. Patrick and Chris rode out front through days six and seven, but never with enough of a lead to relax and, with just a few hours riding left, on the final day (the morning of the 30th), Diedre and Willemein passed them - a perfect example of how tackling the Derby as a team can carry you a long way (sharing navigation, helping each other out of scrapes and generally keeping up moral). They crossed the finish line together to win the toughest horse race on the planet, leaving Chris and Patrick to finish just behind to take joint third.

Diedre, 34 from Jackson Hole, became the second person from Wyonming to win the race in a row, after Bob Long in 2019 (whom she spoke to before the race) and made an incredible recovery during the race, after being right at the back at the end of Day One. Willemien Jooste, 38 from Philipstown, became the fifth South African to cross the finish line in first place.

Comments from the finish line:

Diedre Jackson on being at the back of the race on Day One

“That was demoralizing. I decided with fellow rider Lena Haug at start camp that we would head the straightest route. We underestimated the elevation and so it look us a long time to reach station 1. That was one of my best horses of the Derby and it’s a bit of a shame I didn’t get to race him against the front of the pack. Overall though, I think it was a blessing as I wasn’t then running with the front runners and pushing my horses out of competitiveness. My strategy never changed throughout the whole race: Race my race & ride the horse I’m on.”

Overtaking the leaders right at the end of the race was a stand-out moment for her

“The high was the last day at HS 27 where we made a great nav choice and had an opening to overtake the front runners we’d been chasing for so many days.”

| Whilst motivations for taking part on the Derby included inspiring her children,

“This race has always piqued my interest as an epic challenge both mentally and physically. Travelling horseback I think is the best way to see a new country, and getting to interact with the locals in such a horse-oriented culture was really special. One of my main reasons for competing in this race is to show my girls (5 & 6 yrs old) that they should dream big, and they can achieve anything they set their minds to with hard work & determination.”

and raising funds for the hospital in Jackson

“I raised money for the hospital in Jackson, WY to begin a mental wellness program for new parents. This helps screen new parents for post-partum depression and connect them to subsidised mental health care. This was very important to me after I struggled with PPD after having both my daughters. We raised over $100,000 and the program launched in March 2022!”

Willemien Jooste also had tough moments in the race,

“It’s very tough, no doubt about it. It’s getting up every day and pushing on no matter the heat or cold or tiredness. It was a constant mental game telling yourself to stay positive, smile no matter how tired you are and keep going.”

Whilst the Mongolian culture and teaming up with Diedre were highlights for her

“My high was teaming up with Deidre. We got along great and sharing the load made it so much lighter work. We shared jokes and kept each other motivated to keep going. It helped when the going got tough to share the moment and get over it and smile at what you have already achieved by just being where we were.

Our last night with a family in a valley was the best, they were extremely friendly and showed and shared every part of their lifestyle with us. The husband even got up early the next morning to help us saddle our horses and see us safely on the road. To watch a day in the life of a Nomadic Mongolian family is a rare experience. I am honoured to have been allowed to see and experience it to the full.”


On chasing down the leading pair of Patrick Heffron and Chris Walker, Willemien commented:

“It is always better to be the hunter than the hunted. We tried not to think about it too much though. We rather tried to focus on our own race. We would select good horses that would keep up with each other and looked like athletes. This usually worked well and we would have one in front of the other if needed to keep each other motivated and keep up the pace. Deidre would keep an eye on the navigation and select the best route to the next horse station- preferring to select the best route for the horses and to spare as much energy as posssible whilst still setting a good pace. We kept our focus on ‘steady but consistant’, and had two basic motivations to keep us going:

“How do you eat an elephant? Bite by bite” and “don’t sit down””
For more details on the race, which is run by British company The Adventurists, visit
www.equestrianists.com

Royal team rider wins French race

GDNonline.com - Full Article

Fri, 29 Jul 2022

SHAIKH Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa won first place in the 160km race of the Jullianges International Endurance Championship in France, leading the Royal Endurance Team to victory in an event which featured elite European jockeys.

The victory was praised by His Majesty the King’s representative for humanitarian works and youth affairs and Royal Endurance Team captain Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa...

Read more here:
https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/1128667

Friday, July 29, 2022

July Mongol Derby Day 6: Run for the hills

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Holly Conyers
29th July 2022

Day 6 of the July 2022 Mongol Derby, and the tension is ratcheting up a notch. Chris Walker (CWA) and Patrick Heffron (PHE) are clinging on to their lead by a nose, having made it into HS20 this evening. Deirdre Griffith (DRG), Tiffany Atteberry (TAT) and Willemien Jooste (WJO) are camped between HS19 and HS20, holding off the rest of the front runners right behind them at HS19. Will CWA and PHE keep their cool to shake off the ladies doggedly stalking them across the steppe, or crumble under the pressure? It’s all to play for as we enter the final stages of the Derby, with just eight horse stations left between the leaders and the finish line. But this is no cake walk: the riders have hit the mountains, throwing some major spanners in the works...

Read more here:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/july-mongol-derby-day-6-run-for-the-hills/

Thursday, July 28, 2022

July Mongol Derby Day 5: Hump day

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Holly Conyers
27th July 2022

The brave yet bonkers riders of the July 2022 Mongol Derby have broken the back of the beast. They are over hump day, with five of the maximum 10 riding days behind them. And what a day it was: a beautiful, clear morning heated up into a warm afternoon, with just a smattering of refreshing showers as riders sped through lush, verdant valleys and negotiated sandy tracks. The going was good and the horses pleasantly co-operative, but our leaders have struggled to extend their lead from the tenacious chasing pack. Chris Walker (CWA) and Patrick Heffron (PHE) remain out in front after seizing the lead last night, but they have a fragile 18 minute advantage on the seven gritty riders stubbornly clinging onto their tails, camped just behind them at HS16.

Race HQ elected to extend riding hours by an extra 60 minutes until 19:00 today in light of the pleasant weather, to give riders more time to get flying through the course. Bringing up the rear of the field with irresistible good cheer, Alexa Towersey (ATO), Eleanor Aitken (EAI), Tobias Endress (TEN), Marianne Finch (MFI), Sara Beck (SBE) and Brandy Dobbyn (BDO) were allowed an additional hour to be accounted for in the final totting up of riding times, in order to bunch the field back together a little more...

Read more at:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/july-mongol-derby-day-5-hump-day/

Mongolia: World’s Longest & Toughest Horse Race Returns



July 27 2022
Daniel at New Chapter Marketing

After a two year absence, the world’s longest and toughest horse race, The Mongol Derby, is back with a bang, with two races running back to back.

Based on the ancient horse messenger system used by Genghis Khan, in a country where the horse is king, at 1000km the Derby is the toughest test on the planet for equestrian endurance riders. Whilst horses are changed roughly every 35km, at checkpoints strung out throughout the country, riders must endure being in the saddle for up to 200km a day and face the challenges of riding over twenty-eight different semi-wild horses, with varying temperaments and bucking abilities, the inevitable falls and mishaps that happen along the way and navigating through challenging terrain, from giant sand dunes to freezing mountain passes.

After the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 editions, the twelfth Mongol Derby kicked off on the 23 rd of July and looks set to be one of the most fiercely contested races to date, currently proving too close to call, with no clear breakaways formed.

Riders from ten nations are competing for the prestigious win, with young Kiwi pair, Sam Edney and Annie Hackett, having taken an early lead, before age and experience took over in the form of Irishman Patrick Heffron and Brit Chris Walker. Leading the way at the end of day four, both are experienced riders in multiple disciplines, but with several days riding left anything could happen and a strong American and Australian contingent are breathing down their necks.

Follow the race live at https://equestrianists.com/mongol-derby

The second edition of the Mongol Derby kicks off on the 10 th of August

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

July Mongol Derby Day 4: The eye of the storm

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Holly Conyers
27th July 2022

Four days into the July 2022 Mongol Derby and we have our first major shake-up of the leaderboard since our 46 riders blasted off the start line: Annie Hackett (AHA) and Sam Edney (SED) have fallen off the pace for the first time, as we come up against some mountainous terrain. There is a new double act in town. Chris Walker (CWA) and Patrick Heffron (PHE) have ridden a blinder to launch themselves clear of the rest of the field, camped roughly halfway between HS12 and HS13. But they’re not out of the woods yet, closely stalked by a pack of three very determined riders snapping at their hooves.

Deirdre Griffith’s (DGR) calculated early morning horse selection has clearly paid off. Riding alongside Sean McBride (SMC) and Willemien Jooste (WJO) since they hoofed it out of their campsite between HS5 and HS6 yesterday morning, the group have pulled off something of a miracle to propel themselves almost to the head of the race. Camped just outside HS12, they have raced through a formidable four horse stations in just one day, having set off this morning from a campsite between HS8 and HS9...

Read more here:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/july-mongol-derby-day-4-the-eye-of-the-storm/

July Mongol Derby Day 3: Golden hour

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Holly Conyers
25th July 2022

Day 3 of the July 2022 Mongol Derby, and the drama just keeps coming. Six riders remain locked in battle for the lead at the head of the race, but there’s been a change in the line-up since yesterday: Chris Walker (CWA) managed to catch up to the leaders to join their camp at HS9, while Tyler Donaldson-Aitken (TDO) has dropped off the pace and finds himself camped somewhere between HS7 and HS8. We recount the day’s highs and lows below.

For the third day in a row, riders awoke to blazing sunshine on the steppe. Taking full advantage of permitted riding hours, Ashton Garner (AGA), Kristin Carpenter (KCA) and Morgan Kelly (MKE) bolted out of HS4 where they had spent the night at 07:00 on the dot. Michael Field (MFE), Claire Vile (CVI) and Lena Haug (LHA) were the first to depart HS5, leaving behind their 10 other campmates still busy wrangling their horses and wolfing down some breakfast. CWA, Deirdre Griffith (DGR), Sean McBride (SMC) and Willemien Jooste (WJO) were quick to hop onto their mounts this morning, making a punctual exit from their campsite somewhere between HS5 and HS6. Nancy O’Neill (NON) and Janet O’Neill (JON) were back in the saddle, leaving HS4 after NON’s sojourn to Ulaanbaatar hospital yesterday which left her unscathed but riding in Adventure Class...

Read more here:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/july-mongol-derby-day-3-golden-hour/

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

July Mongol Derby Day 2: Who needs stirrups anyway?

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Holly Conyers
25th July 2022

Daybreak on Day 2 of the July 2022 Mongol Derby was a sight for sore eyes (and even sorer behinds): bright sunshine, a cool breeze and wispy clouds. The perfect weather to cover some serious miles across the rolling steppe, stretching as far as the eye can see. By sundown, a hot afternoon had slowed the pace of the field, but the two leading riders from close of play on Day 1 would see their lead clawed back by the chasing pack: we now have six riders vying for the lead, camped together at HS6. The race is on.

At the head of the race this morning at HS3, Annie Hackett (AHA) and Sam Edney (SED) had no option but to sit out a late riding penalty from the previous evening, incurred by riding past 18:00 in order to reach shelter at HS3 rather than risk camping out in some serious rain. A sensible tactical decision last night, an agonising wait this morning watching the seconds tick by and praying the chasing pack didn’t appear on the horizon before they were released. They managed to make it out before their pursuers appeared, but how safe was their lead?...

Read more here:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/july-mongol-derby-day-2-who-needs-stirrups-anyway/

July Mongol Derby Day 1: A family affair

Equestrianists.com - Full Story

Holly Conyers
23rd July 2022

The July 2022 Mongol Derby is officially underway. Day 1 has been a real rollercoaster. At close of play, with riding hours limited to between 07:00 and 18:00 local time, we have an early breakaway: Annie Hackett (AHA) and Sam Edney (SED) have set a blistering pace to rocket all the way to HS3. Riders have been treated to some of the most pristine green rolling hills and sunny, cool conditions Mongolia has to offer. Read on for all of the day’s notable events.

Before kick-off, riders lined up for their final weigh-in, this time for their riding kit. A strict 5kg limit resulted in emotional goodbyes to some treasured but stubbornly weighty snack items. The riders’ bridles were honoured with a traditional Mongolian blessing, before riders packed up and headed for the horse lines. Easier said than done for some: Eleanor Aitken’s (EAI) horse threw a bit of a tantrum when introduced to his saddle...

Read more here:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/july-mongol-derby-day-1/

Monday, July 25, 2022

Cirencester man taking part in Mongol Derby

a href="https://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/20297597.cirencester-man-taking-part-mongol-derby/">Wiltsglosstandard.co.uk - Full Article

23 July 2022
By Huw Mabe

A Cirencester man is taking part in the world's longest horse race to raise money for a local charity.

Chris Walker is competing in the Mongol Derby, which gets underway on Saturday.

He is one of 46 riders from 10 different countries who will race 1,000km through the Mongolian Steppe.

Known as the world's longest and toughest horse race, competitors use local herder’s ponies and change them every 40km to recreate the messenger system used by Genghis Khan in the 13th century...

Read more here:
https://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/20297597.cirencester-man-taking-part-mongol-derby/

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Horse rider from Shropshire set to race in brutal 1,000km Mongol Derby

Shropshirestar.com - Full Article

By Paul Jenkins
South Shropshire
Published: Jul 22, 2022

Never mind the Grand National, a Shropshire horse rider will be taking on the challenge of one of the world's toughest races next month.

Zoe Geddes is one of only 40 people to be accepted into the Mongol Derby, considered the world's longest and toughest horse race and following a course of 1,000km on the Mongolian Steppe. It recreates the horse messenger and postal system developed by Genghis Khan in 1224.

Competitors - who have to demonstrate a high aptitude for riding - spend thirteen to fourteen hours a day in the saddle on wild horses, and the race lasts ten days - with generally only half finishing the course. Zoe will jet out to Mongolia to make her attempt on August 3...

Read more here:
https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/local-hubs/south-shropshire/2022/07/23/zoe-ready-to-ride-the-wild-plains/

Saturday, July 23, 2022

CAS uphold FEI Tribunal decision in horse abuse case

Inside.FEI.org

07 July 2022
Author: FEI

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the FEI Tribunal decision issued on 2 February 2022, in the Horse Abuse case involving the athlete Esam Zbibi (FEI ID 10184793/GBR) and his support personnel Hicham Gharib, regarding the horse HH Sigma (FEI ID 105XP18/UAE) at the CSI3* in Abu Dhabi (UAE) 23-26 February 2021.

The athlete had engaged in horse abuse, and the trainer in incorrect behaviour in relation to horse abuse, by using boots with sharp pins on the horse during the competition.

In its final decision the FEI Tribunal ruled that Esam Zbibi had engaged in Horse Abuse and imposed a four-year ineligibility period on him starting from the date of the decision, meaning he is suspended until 1 February 2026. The athlete was also fined CHF 10,000 and asked to pay costs of CHF 2,000.

The FEI Tribunal also ruled that Hicham Garib had engaged in Incorrect Behaviour and imposed a one year ineligibility period on starting from the date of the decision, meaning he is suspended until 1 February 2023. He was also fined CHF 5,000 and asked to pay costs of CHF 2,000.

The final decision of the FEI Tribunal is available here.

The operative part of the Arbitral Award issued by CAS can be found here.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Clare Fleming experiences a multitude of Quilty success

ArmidaleExpress.com.au - Full Article

By Ellen Dunger
Updated July 13 2022

"Comradeship", "horsemanship" and "sportsmanship" were just three of the words Inverell's Clare Fleming used when describing her recent Tom Quilty championship experience.

Fleming and her mount, Flemingo Bomsaway, completed the prestigious 160 kilometre national endurance riding event over a difficult course at Tooraweenah on Saturday. Mud, sinkholes and rocky terrain made a normally difficult ride even more challenging.

"It was a difficult track, but I thought the horses handled it really really well. When you start a ride like that in the dark, there was 180 riders, there's lots of things that go wrong - you can get kicked, in the dark you don't know what the track is like so you can you can go too hard and fast on rocks that are sharp and end up with stone bruise," Fleming said...

Read more here:
https://www.armidaleexpress.com.au/story/7818242/fleming-claims-eighth-tom-quilty-buckle/

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Jo Bailey and Claralee Honeymoon conquer the Quilty

GlenInnesExaminer.com.au - Full Story

By Ellen Dunger
Updated July 12 2022

Jo Bailey's first Tom Quilty buckle has been a long time coming.

Bailey started endurance riding as an eight-year-old in the 1980s but didn't manage to get her hands on the prestigious buckle until 2022.

The Tom Quilty is the peak of all events on the endurance calendar and it was run on Saturday at Tooraweenah.

It runs for 160kms and this year was particularly tough with rocks as well as sinkholes and boggy terrain to navigate.

But Bailey and Claralee Honeymoon managed it to earn their first Tom Quilty buckle.

The Red Range local described the feeling of finally crossing the line "amazing. Very, very sweet..."

Read more here:
https://www.gleninnesexaminer.com.au/story/7817822/bailey-bags-her-first-quilty-buckle/?cs=423

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Rachel Brown and Houdini earn their second Tom Quilty buckle

Tenterfieldstar.com.au - Full Story

By Ellen Dunger
Updated July 11 2022

Swapping a saddle for a horse proved to be one of the best deals Tenterfield's Rachel Brown ever made with now two Tom Quilty championship buckles to her name.

Brown and her little Arabian, Houdini, finished the 160 kilometre national championship event at Tooraweenah on Saturday, three years after earning their first when Queensland hosted the event...

Houdini, affectionately known as Harry, is Brown's second endurance horse.

She started the sport on her stockhorse before ending up with Harry after advertising an old saddle for sale.

"The lady who bought the saddle, she wanted the saddle but couldn't afford to pay me for it until she sold her horse," Brown said.

"But no one wanted to look at the horse because it was an Arab," she said...

Read more here:
https://www.tenterfieldstar.com.au/story/7816815/swapping-a-saddle-for-a-horse-turns-into-two-quilty-buckles/?cs=1640

Monday, July 11, 2022

Mongol Derby horse race entrant Sarah Carroll ready for tough event

ABC.net.au - Full Article

ABC Radio Brisbane / By Jessica Hinchliffe and Kate O'Toole
July 10 2022

Preparing for "pure madness" in the saddle is a dream come true for Queenslander Sarah Carroll, who will take the reins in the world's toughest and longest horse race.

Ms Carroll is one of only 40 riders selected from across the globe to ride in the Mongol Derby next month.

Riders will find their way through 1,000 kilometres of Mongolian steppes while changing horses every 40 kilometres.

"The premise is probably pure madness and it's not for the faint-hearted as only about 50 per cent make it to the finish line," Ms Carroll said...

Read more here:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-07-11/mongol-derby-horse-race-entrant-sarah-carroll-tough-event/101200636

Wales: Disappointment for Fiona as championships are postponed

AbergavennyChronicle.com - Full Article 4th October 2022 4:00 am The owner of a horse-riding school in Llangattock has qualified for the ...