There are many forms of adventurous sports that thrill-seeking enthusiasts take part in every year. While most of these events are associated with the motorsport industry, there are other forms of extreme sporting events out there to take part in.
Horse riding has been one of the most widely known sports in the world for centuries. Many people still love horse-related sporting events, and many of these events can prove to be very difficult and challenging. One of these is the Mongol Derby, which holds the title of the world’s longest, and one of the toughest, horse races in the world.
Inspiration from Genghis Khan’s Era
The Mongol Derby is a 1,000-kilometer trek which is one of its kind in the fact that it is based on the ancient horse messenger system introduced by Genghis Khan. The messenger system of Genghis Khan was based on the need for the rapid gathering and transfer of intelligence.
The riders take their horses through the Mongolian grassland and along the Mongolian Steppe, made even riskier because they are exposed to the elements of nature throughout the race. To make matters more complicated, the riders are supposed to change their horses after every 40 kilometers. There are no rest houses along the way as in many other races, and the racers are supposed to sleep in camps or with a herder they meet along the way.
For Amateurs and Professionals Alike
The world’s longest horse race has no requirement for a particular level of experience in horse riding, and it is open to everyone from the most professional to the amateur enthusiasts. People taking part in this event are those that love horse riding and extreme challenges to the extent that they are not afraid of any physical risks they may be incurring.
To emphasize how people from different professions take part in this competition, note that last year’s winner was a mining operator from Australia. This goes to show how this race is for everyone who loves horse riding, not just the professionals.
A Universal Event
People from all over the world are taking part in this year’s event, which occurs in early August. The total number of riders registered for this year's event is 40, with nationalities spread over 13 countries. Canada has only three racers this year, trailing behind Australia and Sweden with six racers each. The United Kingdom is leading the pack, however, with a total of eight riders.
Not for People with Light Pockets
The race, while open to amateurs, may not be for everyone after all. It costs a lot of money to enter the event, a hefty $15,000 to be exact.
One thing that may make it easier for you to find the money to participate is that the race's participation fee helps raise money to support Cool Earth, a charity trying to put a stop to the destruction of rainforests.
The Mongol Derby is a racing event like no other, not only because it is the world’s longest horse race but also because of the terrain it takes place in. Mongolia is one of the very few places in the world that hasn’t been completely taken over by human intervention over the last 50 to 70 years, adding mounds of historic character to the whole experience.