‘The most amazing experience of my life’: five Brits among top 10 finishers of Mongol Derby

  • Five Brits are among the top 10 finishers in the 2016 Mongol Derby.

    Australian William Comiskey, Canada’s Heidi Telstad and Marcia Hefker Miles from the US were the first three over the line at 9.51am local time (01.51 BST) yesterday (11 August).

    Courtney Kizer, from Texas, finished fourth with British dressage rider Tatiana Mountbatten and her team-mate Venetia Phillips, who is based in Kenya, in fifth and sixth respectively.

    Tatiana Mountbatten (left) and Venetia Phillips (right). Credit: Richard Dunwoody @ Mongol Derby

    Tatiana Mountbatten (left) and Venetia Phillips (right). Credit: Richard Dunwoody @ Mongol Derby

    Bloodstock agent David Redvers, based in Gloucestershire, took seventh, while Alice Newling and Alexandra Hardham finished eighth and ninth.

    The race route covers 1,000km across Mongolia and is in the Guiness Book of Records as the world’s longest multi-horse race.

    “I can honestly say it’s the most amazing experience of my life,” said David.

    “The scenery is beyond anything I can imagine, my riding companions were the best fun, but the ponies are the most incredible animals on the planet.

    “I am completely and totally emotionally drained but at the same time exhilarated by the experience.”

    Event rider and student Alice said her most memorable moment was galloping through the mountains when a herd of wild horses appeared, galloped alongside her, then disappeared back into the mist.

    Of the 41 riders who set out eight days ago, 14 have retired.

    The Household Cavalry team, who are down to four riders from five due to injury, were still en route yesterday afternoon (11 August).

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    Former champion jockey Kevin Darley is among those who have pulled up and Qatar Racing’s Sheikh Fahad Al Thani also had to stop after 500km due to breaking his back.

    Over the course of the race, which celebrates the ancient Mongolian postal routes, the riders rode at least 27 different horses each, changing mounts at 40km intervals.

    Conditions this year have ranged from extreme heat to torrential rain.

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