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British trio equal second in Mongol Derby

British riders took three of the top placings at the 2014 Mongol Derby behind Australian Sam Jones.

The British trio coming in equal second included former British jump jockey Chris Maude, professional polo player Jamie Peel and Royal Marine Robert Skinner (one of H&H’s eligible hunting batchelors).

Former H&H columnist Nigel Peel said he was “extremely proud” of his son, Jamie.

“Riding 1,000km over very rough ground on small ponies is a tremendous achievement,” he said.

Chris and Jamie are good friends from the North Cotswold hunting field. “It will prepare them very well for the start of the hunting season in a couple of weeks,” added Nigel.

Chris was riding to raise funds for the Injured Jockeys Fund and Jamie for the James Wentworth Stanley Memorial Fund.

All three British riders were relieved to cross the finish line last week (Wednesday 13 August).

Chris, who has ridden in eight Grand Nationals and won the Becher Cup at Aintree twice, said: “There were good times and bad times. It was dangerous and emotional.”

Jamie had a virus for the last few days of the race, and on the final day fell off when his horse tripped, rolling on him and trapping his legs.

Chris and Rob were luckily there to help him and catch his horse, otherwise he would have incurred a penalty.

Jamie said the race “was emotionally draining,” especially on the last day when they all had slow horses and were worried they were going to get caught up with.

This year 11 of the 48 starters retired, most because of injuries sustained from falls off the native Mongolian horses or illness.

British riders Luke Berry and James Griffiths were among the casualties.

Luke fell off early in the race and was airlifted to hospital, while James retired on the last day because of illness.

Sam Jones, a 40-year-old mining operator, is the second women to win the race, known as the world’s toughest and longest.

Last year’s winner was Lucinda Green’s niece Lara Prior-Palmer. At 19 she was the youngest and first woman to win.

In 2012 the race was won by Irish jockey, Donal Fahey, with fellow jockey Richie Killoran coming in second.

The other British riders to complete the 2014 Mongol Derby were Catherine Stott (5th), Matthew Pearce (21st), Wendy Chung (23rd), Andrew Mobey (27th), Simon Lukas (29th), Vikki Wojcik (35th) and Claudia Vicente (37th).

This news story was also published in Horse & Hound magazine (21 August, 2014)

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