British Equestrian Federation (BEF) chief Clare Salmon heads the 12-strong British contingent taking on the longest and toughest horse race in the world.

The 2017 Mongol Derby features 13 men and 29 women from nine countries. The 1,000km route recreates Chinggis Khaan’s ancient horse messenger system and is expected to take around 10 days to complete.

Clare, who started the top BEF job in June 2016, will also be riding in the Magnolia Cup charity race at Goodwood on 3 August — days ahead of the start of the Mongol Derby.

“The challenge of going from the shortest and most glamorous horse-race on ladies’ day at Glorious Goodwood to the longest and most unhygienic one in Mongolia the next day is pretty irresistible,” said the 53-year-old in her race biography.

The timing of the race means Clare may have to record the British eventing team’s dressage tests at the European Eventing Championships, which starts on 17 August.

Clare’s husband Neil Goldie-Scot is among the 11 other Brits taking part in the derby and will be raising money for the Riding for the Disabled Association.

The other British riders lining up are: Louise Ball, Mark Bauwens, Jane Boxhall, Cy Lloyd Jones, Rebecca Pumphrey, Ceri Putman, Paul Richards, Sally Toye, Victoria Twelves and Charlotte Wills.

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Last year’s joint-winner Australian William Comiskey is returning to try and win outright.

Among the other competitors is 29-year-old Olympic modern penathlete Ed Fernon, from Sydney, who competed at London 2012 and has climbed the highest peak in the southern hemisphere.

Psycholinguist Julia Fisher, 65, is among the US contingent and competes in 50-mile endurance races, having taken her first riding lesson eight years ago.

Also from the US is eventer and equestrian journalist Leslie Wylie.

Other entries include a potato farmer, a private investigator, an ostrich rider, a dog sledder, vets and an artist.

The official race charity is Cool Earth, which works to stop destruction of the rainforest, and many riders are also raising money for other causes.

Pre-race training starts on 6 August with the race itself expected to run from 9-18 August.

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