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Linda

Mongol Derby

4 posts in this topic

Hi all,

Just discovered the other ones, aka Mongol Rally, has invented a Mongol Derby, which will be the longest horce race in the world, (mostly) for charity. Is Mongolia Charity Rally doig something like this?

Info about the Derby http://mongolderby.theadventurists.com/index.php

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No plans to do this. We've talked about it for years (and the Helmet Project shows how much interest there is amongst Go Help in horses) but it is quite a big undertaking to do it properly and get it right to ensure that the money goes to the right people in Mongolia and the horses are properly cared for. I can't say much that is positive about the Adventurists' track record when it comes to cars, so I sure hope the people they've partnered up with (Mercy Corp and the celebrities involved) can do a better job with the horses on this event.

It is interesting to see that this is the first event the Adventurists are running where the entry fee is now more than minimum required to be raised for charity. A big difference from the days in 2005 when the entry fee was £50 for the Mongol Rally (and it was non-profit making) and you had to raise a £1000!

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Indeed - which is why I'd much rather participate in a Mongolia Charity rally derby than this Mongol one. But I can't deny that this is the coolest thing I've ever heard of. The longest horse race in the world, woah... If you don't have any plans of making one, I might have to give in to the evil awesomeness that is Mongol Rally / the Adventurists.

What better way to show we understand the spirit of Mongolian horseracing than to raise money for the Helmets Projects by racing horses? When I was in Ulan Bator we talked a lot about this project, we got to see the promotional dvd and inspect some helmets they had at the head office. It's such an awesome project. Horse racing is such a huge part of the Mongolian culture and to deny children doing it because of its dangers would be rediclous (and I think futile). But providing helmets so that they can race safely is fantastic.

When I was there the winner of the Naadam wore a helmet, and everyone were convinced this helmet gave him "superior riding abilities" - everyone wanted one!

I understand that it takes a lot of planning to put up an event like this. The Adventurists have made it easier for themeselves by only having 25 riders, who all had to apply and state relevant edurance riding and racing experience.

Perhaps an edurance ride rather than a race would be easier to organize (one horse per rider). If you need any help organizing such an event you have my contact details...=)

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The Helmets Project was a great project - it was pragmatic and effective - and we were rather proud that the winner in the 2008 Naadam was wearing one of the Helmets. Organising an event like the Mongol Derby is a significant undertaking and it has to be done very carefully and with significant resources on the ground in Mongolia. I'm rather disappointed that Mercy Corps seem to have given access to all their resources out there to a profit making company for a mere £25,000 (to be raised by the riders of course, not the Adventurists).

As for the event itself, I haven't really given it much thought other than being surprised by the high entry fee vs the tiny amounts being raised for charity. However, it appears as though there are a lot of people in the equestrian community who are less than impressed by all this. There is a Mongol Derby boycott going on (it was mentioned in the latest news from the Adventurists) with some very serious criticism of their plans for the horses. Have a look at the Mongol Derby Boycott by the Longriders Guild. Strong stuff! Given all that, I'm surprised Richard Dunwoody would be associated with the event, and the same for the sponsor providing the saddles, but not being an equestrian expert I can't really judge other than go with the experts on endurance horse riding.

Either way, it highlights the risks of doing something like this and getting it wrong. The Adventurists have certainly got it wrong as far as not getting the international equestrian community on side. As for the details of the event, I'll leave that to the experts to decide, but I have to say, though, I rode some very, very good horses on my travels in Mongolia, and 40km is a very long way over the steppe for even a good horse. To find 800 of them seems a bit unlikely to me.

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