The Mongol Derby: A 1000km Horse Race Across The Mongolian Steppe

I have an uneasy relationship with horses. I think they’re beautiful, intelligent and powerful animals, but somehow whenever I end up riding one, I get stuck with the biggest, orneriest, most ill-tempered creature possible. So that said, the following adventure opportunity probably isn’t for me. But I’m sure there will be plenty of others that will see this as a fantastic experience.

The Adventurists, who are well known for putting on crazy motorized adventures in extreme places, are prepping for a decidedly different kind of adventure. In August of this year, they’ll send a group of riders across the Mongolian Steppe on horseback, covering more than 1000km (621 miles) in what they call the “the longest, toughest horse race in the world.”

Dubbed the Mongol Derby, the event features no set route. The adventurous men and women who join the Derby will instead be on their own navigating to the 25 different Horse Stations that are located across the vast and open wilderness. If the riders so choose, it’ll be just them, their ponies, and the Mongolian Steppe to explore.

The safety and care of the horses is of the utmost concern for the organizers of the event, which is why the riders are tasked with getting their horses to the stations in a healthy state. They are also required to switch horses at each station as well, and a high trained and experienced team of vets will be on hand to ensure the animals are well treated and an medical issues are taken care of.

The 2012 edition of the Derby is already sold out, but its never too late to start planning for next year. You’ll be able to follow progress in this year’s race on the Mongol Derby website and for glimpse of what the event is all about, be sure to check out the video below.

Kraig Becker

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