Former champion jockey swaps racecourses for wilderness

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.

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