Former champion jockey Kevin Darley is swapping racecourses for the wilds of Mongolia to take part in the world’s longest horse race, for charity.
Kevin, a professional jockey for three decades, is taking on the 2016 Mongol Derby in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF), H&H’s charity of the year.
During his career he rode 2,431 winners and was crowned champion Flat jockey in 2000.
He is hoping to raise £2,000 to buy a Dyno Concept 2 — a multi-purpose strength and training rehabilitation device — for the IJF’s Jack Berry House centre in Malton.
The 56-year-old will be one of 14 Brits taking part in the 1000km race, which begins on 4 August and is expected to take around 10 days.
In total, there are 43 riders — 20 men and 23 women — from 13 countries competing.
These include a team from the Household Cavalry as well as British dressage rider Tatiana Mountbatten.
The event, which is featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest multi-horse race, recreates Chinggis Khaan’s ancient postal messenger system.
Competitors ride the hardy and semi-wild native horses of Mongolia. They ride up to 160km a day, navigating independently and changing horses every 40km.
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The full British line-up is:
- Kevin Darley, 56, Yorks. Professional jockey for 30 years, was crowned champion Flat jockey in 2000
- Tom Alden, 25, Norwich. A qualified riding instructor, Tom has served in the Household Cavalry mounted regiment since 2013 and has competed in dressage for many years.
- Rosie Bathurst, 24, Cirencester. A freelance publicist, ski instructor and eventer.
- Chips Broughton, 43, Suffolk. Just retired from the army, he has extensive experience starting and working with racehorses in the UK, US and New Zealand.
- Sian Dyson, 35, Wiltshire. Crewed on the 2014 Mongol Derby, competed in 2015 but became unwell and had to retire. Is hoping to return to complete “unfinished business” this year.
- James Harbord, 27, Wiltshire. A member of the Household Cavalry, James joined the Army post-university.
- Alexandra Hardham, 27, London. Works and lives in London now, but grew up on a sheep farm.
- Tatiana Mountbatten, 26, London. Professional dressage rider.
- Alice Newling, 28, Wisbech, Cambs. Eventer and recent graduate of Kingston University.
- Venetia Phillips, 28, Herts. Works and breeds safari horses in Kenya.
- David Redvers, 46, Hartpury. A leading bloodstock agent, David is the racing and bloodstock adviser to Qatar Racing and Qatar Bloodstock and the manager of Tweenhills Farm and Stud in Gloucestershire.
- Edward Sampson, 34, New Forest. Edward learnt to ride on an Exmoor called “Fat Pony” and spent 18 years in the Army.
- Anthony Strange, 22, Cumbria. A junior instructor with the Household Cavalry, Anthony began riding as a child at Cumbrian Heavy Horses.
- Urbain Tego Tagne, 27. A member of the Household Cavalry, Urbain completed three degrees at Universities in Cameroon and the UK and had never been on a horse before he joined the army.