Home News A different kind of horse racing: the Mongol Derby

A different kind of horse racing: the Mongol Derby

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To the die-hard fans of horse racing, the Mongol Derby sounds pretty familiar. It is a multi-horse race that runs all along the Mongolian Steppe, featuring the Mongolian wilderness and the natural landscape. It is one of a kind and despite the fact that it has no winning prizes, it remains one of the most popular horse races of all, particularly for its distinctive and unique characteristics and its challenges. 

And even though it is not available for betting as other horse races, which are offered by bookmakers at https://allbets.tv/it/bookmakers/horse-racing/, the Mongol Derby attracts and captures the interest and the attention of horse race fans and enthusiasts from all over the world. 

The Mongol Derby

This is an annual race that takes place during the month of August on the steppes of Mongolia. In fact it is a re-creation of the long-distance transmission system that was initially set up back in 1224 by Genghis Khan, in an attempt to establish the first message delivery system featuring horses. 

To honor this legendary system, the Mongol Derby gives riders the chance to ‘relive’ and ‘rerun’ the pathways that were used in the past. 

The “circuit”

What absolutely distinguishes the Mongol Derby from all other races is that it is the longest equestrian race in the world, with nearly 1000 km run across the steppes. This means that in their route, riders will go through hills, river crossings, wide-open grasslands, high mountain passes, wetlands and other such difficult and variable aspects of the landscape. 

Such a ‘circuit’ is in fact really difficult and challenging and it does not require only physical capabilities, but the mental capacity to cope with the changing landscape and of course with the changing demands for both the riders and the horses. 

What is very interesting is that every year the circuit is somewhat 25% changed and this is done to make sure that the route to be run has plenty of the required resources such as water supply. 

The horses

Horses’ skills and capabilities are also quite different from those that are valuable in the more traditional horse races. In fact, the Adventurists – the organizers of the race – are carefully picking each Mongolian horse for the particular race because of the challenges of the route. 

In order to prevent horses’ welfare, riders need to switch them every 40 km. There are stations designed for this purpose, where riders should stop and change their companions. Given that the race is not an endurance race for horses, it is imperative that their health is safeguarded and they are prevented from exhaustion or from any kind of injury. 

In all these stations there are vets who monitor horses’ physical condition and provide them with the necessary treatment if needed. 

The riders

It’s not easy to be a rider in the Mongol Derby. For this reason, the Adventurists have developed a robust screening system which makes sure that the riders have the skills and capabilities to participate in this challenging race. 

Each rider undergoes a small interview and pays a participation fee which is nearly $15.000. This fee essentially covers issues such as the cost of horses, medical support, training, and technological equipment (such as live race tracking and monitoring devices). 

Race hours and duration

Since the Mongol Derby is the longest equestrian race on earth and one of the hardest races as well, it’s only natural to think that it can’t be lasting for only a few hours! In fact, the race usually lasts 10 days, but riders and horses are not running 24/7. 

There are certain rules which limit the riding hours to 11 each day. Riding takes place only from 07.00 till 18.00 and from that point on riders and horses need to rest until the next day, where they continue their racing. 

Overall the Mongol Derby is a unique and exciting race that is not designed to get riders and horses into winning a money prize. The prize is the unforgettable and once-in-a-lifetime chance to go down this route in an organized context and experience the wilderness of the landscape and the great challenges of the circuit.

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Christopher Stern
Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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