Article Date: 17-August-2012
Professional Irish jump jockeys Donie Fahy and Richie Killoran claimed first and second places respectively in the 1,000-kilometre Mongol Derby today (Friday). The race started on August 10th.
The Mongol Derby is a recreation of the ancient horse-messenger system used by Genghis Khan that could relay messages across an empire. The riders take on 1000km of Mongolian steppe on semi-wild horses, swapping their mounts at at network of horse stations set 40km apart.
Fahy crossed the finish line nose to nose with South African adventurer Barry Armitage but the latter was issued with a veterinary penalty of two hours when the vetinerary inspection revealed his horse was lame.
The South African had been in the lead for much of the race but in a painful twist his time penalty has pushed him outside the top three.
Donie Fahy has spent most of the Mongol Derby in the chasing pack but a supremely timed strong run through the last few horse stations and impressive sprint to the finish line brought him victory.
Some 34 riders started the Mongol Derby, but the race is so tough that only 21 are expected to cross the finish line still officially in the race and serious injuries have been sustained by some riders.
Killoran, who was Fahy’s riding mate for much of the race, crossed the line just 44 seconds after his colleague to claim second place.
55 minutes and 1 second after the winner, Austrian rider Michaela Gradinger claimed third place.
Photo: Donie Fahy (nearest camera) with Richie Killoran in Mongolia
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