South African horseback
adventurer, Barry Armitage, has jointly won the world's
longest endurance horse race, the Mongol Derby, with
Australian Olympian Ed Fernon.
gruelling race, which the Guinness Book of Records
calls the world's longest and toughest horse race,
51-year-old Armitage said: "Winning this inspiring race
brings no financial reward, simply the kudos of winning
what the New York Times rated in the top 10
toughest endurance races on the planet."
Armitage shared winning of the ninth derby with Fernon
in the record time of nine days, covering 1 020 km of
rugged remote Mongolian steppes, with the first of 42
riders from around the world crossing the line on 18
"My best moment of the race was when passing Ed (Fernon)
on the last stage to be out front alone by a few hundred
metres." said Armitage.
He said the sweltering heat made the going tough and
that he and Fermon decided to save their horses and ride
across the finish line together.
Armitage said the race was not for the faint-hearted, as
it tested the limits of each competitor's survival
skills, horsemanship and sheer endurance ability.
"Over 13 hours in the saddle every day for a week is a
great physical challenge.
"You spend much of the race alone with your horses on
the endless steppe chasing an unseen rider ahead, and
you simply need to will yourself to keep going," he
Armitage is a three-time veteran of the event, having
competed in the 2011 edition when he and riding partner
Joe Dawson shot a television series, The Ride - Race
Across the Steppe, about their exploits, initially
screened on SABC 3 in 2012.
Over the years, South African riders have dominated the
race, with four previous winners hailing from South
Africa ¡V more than from any other country. ¡V Source: