Since its inception in 2009, the Mongol Derby instantly proved itself as the world’s toughest, longest
horse race. Despite the event’s youthfulness, this equestrian endurance race might just be one of the
most richly historied races on earth, considering the race attempts to recreate the horse messenger
system Ghengis Khan developed in the year 1224.
The race turns into a flat-out, bone crushing gallop measuring 1000 kilometres or 620 miles on a
secretive route across the rugged nature of the Mongolian Steppes from start to finish, with each
year’s exact route remaining a closely guarded secret till just before the start of each race.
Most competitor’s race distances well-exceed the 1000 km mark due to getting lost and or having to
double back after choosing an impassable route. The race requires competitors face the incessant
oppressive heat of the Mongolian landscape, intermittently alleviated by regular downpours and
hailstorms that accompany race progress during August.
If this still sounds right up your fun alley, at this point maybe throw in 800 semi-wild Mongol horses,
all only semi-saddle broken to serve as your race-transport, friend, and trail fellow for the duration of
your adventure across the marmot hole infested ground, at break-neck speed for up to fourteen hours
a day over a minimum of ten days.
The terrain covers near any imaginable natural geographical aspect, taking competitors through lush
green open valleys, steep & narrow mountain passes, woodlands, hilly terrain, river crossings,
floodplains, wetlands, dry river beds, semi-arid sand dunes, rolling hills, and the region’s well-known
If you’re still up for the challenge, get ready for an eye-watering entry fee of $13,000. It will provide
challengers with access to a fully organised support team at their disposal for the duration of the race.
It further includes a selection of 30 Mongolian horses, pre-race training, as well as access to a number
of support stations set at pre-determined stopover points along your race route.
An extremely strict set of race rules are stringently applied to protect the horses from thoughtless
treatment by overly focused competitors. This ensurs our four-legged racers are treated well, and
simultaneously, serves to protect overly competitive racers from themselves, their actions, and any
lack of planning or forethought.
Race rules require competitors change their mounts at every support station, with stations located 36
km apart along the route. Along each day’s route vets perform regular check-ups on the horses to
monitor their overall condition and levels of exhaustion, with vets given the full authority to impose
severe time penalties should a rider have pushed his or her horse too hard for too long.
Simply completing the race represents a remarkable accomplishment for each competitor, with only
half the field making it to the finish line in any given year. The high levels of uncertainty and massive
variables that comes as part and parcel of such an event is sure to make it a favourite at major online
bookers who enthusiastically provides coverage of such niche events. You would likely find another
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Gaining entry as a competitor also is not a simple matter of just paying your entry fee, riders must
demonstrate their riding skill levels as well as their ability to withstand and endure the harsh nature of
the race. In addition, their Mongolian steeds may not always wish to fully cooperate with rider inputs
and instructions since they remain semi-wild, inserting another layer of difficulty into each