Let us introduce you to Mongolia.
Our next race: 19th-28th of August 2020!
Now accepting applications for our 2020 ride.
The Gobi Desert Cup is a 480-kilometer multi-stage endurance race through the Gobi Desert.
Riders from the four corners of the world, with different equestrian backgrounds and riding levels join the race. They come for the adventure, the competition and the culture. They live Mongolia, with lifelong friends and a life changing experience.
Test your endurance and horsemanship: Ride a new Mongolian horse, each day for 80 kilometres. 480km/6days/6horses.
Vet check at 40 and 80 kilometre, with FEI endurance veterinarians.
Following a marked course, ride through multiple terrains; grassland, sand dunes, and rocky ground as you cross a desert unlike any other.
You will be surrounded by the magic of Mongolia.
We make a difference.
The Монголын адуу болон нүүдэлчдийн сан (Mongolian Horse and Nomads Foundation) based in Mongolia is a Non-Government Organisation founded to make a difference in the nomadic community. Through our annual event, The Gobi Desert Cup, we employ over 60 Nomadic people, from 1 to 12 months and provide them with a sustainable income. It allows them to sustain their lifestyle and support their families.
You are helping us keep thousands of years of culture alive! THANK YOU!!
Ride for a great cause
Compete or ride through a life changing adventure, while keeping alive the Mongolian Nomadic lifestyle.
WHO CAN RIDE THE GOBI DESERT CUP?
Professionals: We have international endurance superstars who have won national championships and participated in the world championship, or FEI qualified ***. We also have some talented eventers, hunters and show jumpers. Exceptional horseman and woman who have participated in brumby/mustang challenge, colt starting etc...
Amateurs: The other half are usually amateurs with an attitude that get them through anything. Everyday riders, who trained, prepared, turned up and craved adventure. They make it look easy, turning up every morning with a smile and determination. They seek advice, take everything in stride and believe that when things get hard and things go wrong; that’s when attitude defines the race. Being physically and emotionally fit, is the secret they carry.
PREPARATION: Riders must seek mentorship from previous Gobi Desert Cup riders, or a local endurance organisation. You will be responsible for your horses on course and must be able to manage them. Riders will need to check their horse’s heart rate with a stethoscope, before entering the vetting. Riding 480 kilometres requires a lot of fitness, expect to spend anywhere between 5 to 10 hours in the saddle daily.
Weight limit: The maximum weight to ride The Gobi Desert Cup is 85kg without any equipment. We feel this is the maximum weight the horses can carry competitively over 80km.
RIDE INDIVIDUAL AND IN TEAMS OF FOUR: Everyone will be competing in both, unless we have an odd number of riders. Decide who is in your team, announce it before the race start and find a great team name. Riders do not have to ride together with their team during the race. For the Team event, we cumulate the four rider’s daily points daily for 6 days.
NOTHING MATTERS BUT YOUR WILL TO SUCCEED.
THE HORSES: Mongolian horses are semi-wild and live outside 24/7 and 365 days a year. Temperatures in Mongolia range from -40 to +35 degrees Celsius. They are hardy, sturdy, and full of heart. Do not under estimate these horses because of their size, 12 to 14hh.
Each day you will have to bond with your horse quickly in order to successfully complete the 80-kilometre course. Trust them, communicate with them, manage them, and they will give you everything.
The horses for the Gobi Desert cup are trained and tamed TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE RACE AT OUR TRAINING CENTRE. They are ridden by amateurs and professionals each year safely. A variety of horses are prepared each year, for all our riders to enjoy the adventure.
This could be you…
CO-FOUNDER AND RIDE DIRECTOR
You won’t find a more passionate ride director. Her dedication for the race, the horses and Mongolia have made this event a truly incredible adventure for all involved. Camille is an international endurance rider, and her love for horse welfare really shows through the event. She is a huge support to the riders who need it most on course, always encourages the ones who need it the most. Known as an adventurist, Camille has completed the longest and toughest horse races in the world and regularly competes at the FEI level internationally.
A Mongolian veterinarian who grew up on the Kentti plain, the birthplace of Genghis Khan. He lived in Ireland for 11 years, and spent four years specializing in reproduction and lameness. Summers are spent preparing and conditioning horses for the GDC, and training his vet students. During the winter you will find him at the University in Ulaanbataar, doing research or giving lectures. Nara is one of Mongolia’s leading veterinarians; truly in love with his country.
We have created a unique equestrian adventure across a vast and ancient land where a special bond and true horsemanship will be required. Riding each horse to the best of their abilities and managing them through 80 kilometres to get through the vetting. You will learn to get on each horse and put your heart in their hoof. You will discover a whole new level of trust.
We are thankful to our sponsors for supporting our efforts to support sustain the local nomadic, Mongolian community through our annual race.