Historically, racers have done fairly well in Mongolia Derbys, not because we understand endurance riding in the first place, but because we are usually tough, scrappy, and unhinged enough to think we can avoid the occasional disaster. Lucinda Green’s niece Lara Prior-Palmer won the race in 2013, and many more have found their way to the finish line over the years, including the real (my teeth) of yours in 2017.
The 10th annual competition, a 1,000km Hunger Games on horseback, is taking place somewhere in Mongolia. With 46 riders from 10 countries taking part, the U.S. throws its largest team ever into the wolves – 19 riders from the U.S. especially shout out to our USEA members to go head-to-head with the Mongolia Derby. Where are they tonight by phone letter: Renee Center (RSE – HS19), Morgan Kelly (wife – HS19), Kristen Carpenter (KCA – HS20), Julie Wolfert (JWO – HS19), Brandy Dobin (BDO – HS19 – Adventure), Clareville (CVI – HS19), Ashton Garner (AGA – HS20) and Alison Kohlberg (I – blood car).
After about six days of adventure and misfortune, let’s see where they rest their weary heads tonight – recap here:
Mongolia Derby Day 1 Blog
Mongolia Derby Day 2 Blog
Mongolia Derby Day 3 Blog
Mongolia Derby Day 4 Blog
Mongolia Derby Day 5 Blog
Mongolia Derby Day 6 Blog
Mongolia Derby Day 7 Blog
Horse Station 19: RSE, MKE, JWO, CVI and BDO (Adventure Class) overnight at HS19. Maybe the KCA… The tracker lists her as camping at HS20, but the blog says she’s hung up at HS19. In true Derby fashion, the space-time continuum is collapsible; who even knows what’s real. Except for one thing we know for sure, it’s a big day for everyone. According to the blog:
CVI, RSE and JWO decided the traditional trail wasn’t for them and headed to the mountains between HS16 and HS17 last night for something more adventurous. The RSE explained that they had such a good time out on some “high-speed steeds” out of the HS16 that the navigation seemed to be an unnecessary distraction, causing some key turns to be missed. They find themselves lost in the mountains and stumble upon a 30-yurt camp hidden in a mysterious canyon. Getting closer, they were soon adopted by local Mongolian children for a summer camp, providing dinner service and even buying a place for CVI at the camp store, but still lacked her gear. Not all wanderers are lost. After getting back on track this morning, they pulled into HS17 with a fantastic story, blissfully unaware that they would have to turn to their GPS again to pass some test dunes on the way to HS18.
A little further out on the track, a massive thunderstorm swept the HS19 and RSE, CVI, WJO and KCA were considering whether to keep riding. Seeing the direction of the HS20 and the impregnable steel rain wall blocking their way, the ladies decided they’d better stay put for the night, thank you very much. Wise call.
Our closing session today is once again dedicated to the amazing BDO, the only rider on the Blood Wagon who rode all day today with a set of broken ribs. We are in awe of you, Wonder Woman.
Horse Station 20: The AGA (and possibly the KCA) are singles and call it a day at HS20.
Ashton Garner (AGA) also entered HS20, sheltering from the storm in a convenient yurt nearby.
At the very top of the field, on day 7 of Derby Day, an overnight leader Chris Walker (CWA) Australia and Patrick Hefferan Ireland (PHE), they camp at Horse Station 25, just three stops from the finish. That means, we will soon have a winner!
If you want to join our watchpoint, you can do so here. Each rider carries a GPS chip, allowing race organizers and fans to track their location in real time. There are quite a few events from all over the world taking part in the Mongolia Derby this year, so you can pick your favorite here.