Mongol Derby


Mongolia – a land where the horses outnumbers the humans. It boasts a landscape of exceptional beauty, a nomadic people of outstanding hospitality, a herd of horses so tough, so feisty and so enduring that they survive year round on the rugged steppe.

The Mongol Derby is a celebration of the Mongolian nomadic culture and tradition. It’s the ultimate equine adventure – a 1,000km course across vast rolling plains, rivers, sand dunes, and forests; and a series of horse stations manned by local families, waiting to relieve riders of their horses and feed them, before dispatching the riders once again with a fresh horse.


In 1224, Genghis Khan set up the world’s first long-distance postal system. Using a massive network of horse messengers, stretching to the far corners of his empire, Genghis Khan could dispatch messengers to travel 300km in a day and the entire distance of his empire in 14 days.


Paul will spend 10 days in the saddle, from dawn until dark, with only his wits and a GPS to guide him between a series of horse stations at 40km intervals.

The Mongol Derby is an adventure, so once Paul sets forth into the wilderness, it’s down to him to get himself to the finish line. If he retires from the race for anything but a medical emergency, he will need to get himself to the finish line by whatever means he can.

Paul will get a satellite tracking device which shows the race organisers where Paul is at all times, even if he doesn’t know himself. If Paul finds himself in dire straits, he can press a button on the tracker to request emergency medical support.

Paul has to travel light – he’s only allowed 5kg’s of essential survival kit and has to maintain a weight of no more than 85kg – dressed to ride.


The start gun fires at 09h00 on 6 August 2011. Join Paul on his journey by keeping track of his progress on Facebook and Twitter

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