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42 competitors from around the world tackle
 the 9th Mongol Derby

 Mongol Derby, 2017. © Julian Herbert @ Mongol Derby 2017

© Julian Herbert @ Mongol Derby 2017



“What better way to test yourself than through a tough endurance race that immerses you in a unique culture and takes you to Mongolia, the spiritual home of equestrianism.”


This is the 9th Mongol Derby, featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest and toughest horse race. The 2017 race features 13 men and 29 women from eight countries riding 1000km across Mongolia on semi-wild horses.


William Comiskey was one of the joint winners in 2016 – and he’s back to try and win single handedly this time. Trying to stop him are 41 fearsome competitors including an Olympian, a cattle herder, a dairy farmer, a potato farmer, an ostrich rider, a dog sledder, a psychologist, an artist, a banker, a private investigator. And even a desperate housewife. Plus of course, the usual vets and riders of every type of horse on the planet. Although of course, many of them are yet to ride the Mongolian horses...



Mongol Derby, 2017. © Julian Herbert @ Mongol Derby 2017


© Julian Herbert @ Mongol Derby 2017



William Comiskey, 28, Long Reach, Australia

Grew up on a cattle station in Queensland where he learnt to ride competing in rodeo, show-jumping and eventing. Now runs cattle. Was a joint winner of the race in 2016 and is back to try and win it on his own. Now that’s keen….


Greg Chant, 43, North East Victoria, Australia 

Has only been riding since mid-2010, mainly Arabians – has always wanted to ride for as long as he can remember.  Is doing the Derby for the physical and mental challenge but mainly because he “wants to go for a long ride and not have to open any gates or jump any fences.” Little does he know how many times he may have to pick himself up off the floor!


Ed Fernon, 29, Sydney, Australia

Ed’s aim is to excel at life’s adventure and what better way than taking on the Derby. Ed competed for Australia at the 2012 London Olympic Games in Modern Pentathlon, has summited Aconcagua, the highest peak in the southern hemisphere, and has previously ridden 1000km when he rode from Braidwood, NSW to Melbourne over the Snowy Mountains, following the legend of the first Melbourne Cup winner, Archer.


Bobbie Friend, 27, Walgett, New South Wales

A critical care nurse who grew up riding horses and is now about ready to trade in her nursing scrubs and intensive care unit for a pair of jodhpurs and the Mongolian steppe. Competing in this crazy adventure because “normality is a paved road, it's a comfortable walk, but no flowers grow on it”. Raising money and awareness for donate life - register your organs! 


Roberta MacLeod, 47, Birregurra, Australia

Accomplished equestrian who trained and rode racehorses for over 20 years. Now rides in the bush and plays polocrosse. Loves travel, other cultures and has been to Mongolia before. Also a qualified myotherapist (now that could come in handy!)


Jodie Ward, 30, Katherine, Northern Territory, Australia

After submitting an application one casual afternoon thinking she would never make the cut, Katherine-lady, Jodie Ward is now well and truly in preparation to be a competitor in the internationally acclaimed 2017 Mongol Derby. "I've set myself what I would consider to be a pretty rigorous training schedule, but so far, I'm enjoying it. Hopefully it will all be enough to put me in good chance of placing near the top come race time." Jodie is raising money for the Leukemia Foundation.


Rebecca Hewitt, 36, Moura, QLD, Australia  

Grew up in rural Queensland riding before she could walk. Now operates a cattle enterprise with her husband. Enjoys a challenge and “what better way to do it than with the Derby and everything it has to offer.”


James Lester, 21, Perth, Australia

Started riding horses just north of Perth from the age of six and is now a professional polo player. When “grows up” aspires to become a Seahorse trainer. Is competing in the Derby “to experience Mongolia's unique culture and challenge my physical and mental boundaries.”


Emma Manthorpe, 30, Port Lincoln, South Australia 

Emma grew up on a farm where her dad bred and worked racehorses. She began riding at a very young age and soon progressed to helping. She now works with horses as a veterinary nurse. She is having a mild 'turning 30 not quite midlife crisis', so is out to achieve something of significance. 

Warren Sutton, 45, Ocean Grove, Victoria, Australia 

Loves to educate young horses of all breeds from first rides into first competitions and races. Plays around in the film industry, is having a great time working on many projects in SE ASIA and at home. With many big adventures succeeded on foot “now is the time to do it on horseback into the Mongolian Derby of 2017!”

Lucy Taylor, 21, Coonamble, NSW, Australia 

Grew up on a cattle property in North Western NSW and was on the back of a horse at a very early age. Now works as an international polo groom travelling from country to country following summer and working with some of the most amazing horses. Is doing the Derby because she thinks “it will be an incredible adventure as well as invaluable learning experience.”

Source: Press release










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