We have created a unique endurance race 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 keeping them fit for the vet checks will be what gets you through. You will learn to get on each horse and put your heart in their hoof. You will discover a whole new level of trust.
Camille Champagne- Ride Director and 3* Endurance Rider
You won't find a more inspirational Race Director than elite international endurance rider and highly respected natural horsemanship trainer - Camille Champagne. She has trained Australia's best endurance horses including the three times Tom Quilty winner Brookleigh Excalibur and placed in the most prestigious races, including the Tom Quilty and Walvis Bay. Known as an adventurist, Camila has completed the longest and toughest horse races in the world and regularly compete at 160 FEI***level internationally.
Nara- Co-founder and Leading Mongolian Veterinarian
Mongolian veterinarian who grew up on the Kentti plain, the birthplace of Genghis Khan. A very ambitious man with international experience from Ireland where he spent four years specialising in reproduction and lameness. During winter you will find Nara at the University in Ulan Bataar, doing research or giving lectures. The Gobi Desert Cup is an opportunity for Nara to share his passion for Mongolian racing along with the nomadic lifestyle, the culture and local people.
Nara works together with the Ride Director, Camila, to provide the horses and design the course.
Dr. Ann Lammens- Head Veterinarian (FEI 3*): Ann has vetted at the Gobi Desert Cup since its inception in 2016 and is passionate about Mongolia and endurance riding. Ann regularly vets in France at the biggest and most prestigious endurance races. More, she is an Equine Reproduction Specialist. Sweet but firm is what Ann is all about! She is always happy to help, listen and answer questions to assist you through your journey and keep your horses in their best shape. Fun fact, she always travels with her hairdryer and has been heard ‘widging’ about riders with other officials.
Colleen Shaw- Chief Steward
Colleen will be running the vetting area and has authority to make decisions if the Ride Director is not available. She has many years of experience as an endurance rider, trainer, strapper, chief steward and ride organiser. Colleen sure knows how to run a vet ring. She will be strict but fair. Another very handy asset to your success so make sure you use Colleen to your advantage. Do not ‘widge’ to Colleen or make a list of excuses. She is a qualified school teacher. She’s heard it all before.
Dr. Ian Baines - FEI 4* Veterinarian
The greatest gentleman! Always a smile on his face and a word of encouragement. I met Ian in Namibia last year at Walvis Bay-African Championship. All the local women are VERY fond of him and couldn’t stop talking about him. Another great vet, all the way from Namibia! He must have some kind of “Je ne sais quoi”. Very friendly and casual, his knowledge got him to vet at the last endurance world championship and in South Africa’s most prestigious events! Ian could break bad news and still be seen as a “nice guy”.
Heather Wallace- Media Consultant
Heather aka “Jersey” as dubbed by our 2018 riders, is our Media Consultant all the way from the US! Heather is an equestrian author, writer and photographer known for her blog, The Timid Rider. She will be taking photos, videos and doing the rider interviews, but she promises to be gentle. Heather is also responsible for all press before, during, and after the ride. Her other duties will be posting updates on social media so your friends and family can follow your journey.
Dr. Julie Kemp Marathon Vet - On Course Vet:
Julie is passionate about marathons. For very many many years, Julie has either competed or vetted in the famous Australian FAR A WAY 320km marathon. Full of advice and knowledge, she is one to keep on your side as her expertise will be invaluable to your success! Her other passion is photography, and yes, she’s bringing all her gear on course with her, so be nice and smile if you want pictures.
Rosanna from New Zealand is a qualified school teacher who is passionate about traveling to remote locations. Rosie will be helping at checkpoints and overseeing the camp to make sure it is ready for your arrival each day. She is a problem solver and riders will often seek her for advice or help. More, she is in charge of the rider’s times and log books, so she is perhaps the rider’s favorite of all the officials.
Byra is a mother of three who studied accounting in Ireland. She is married to Nara and lives now in Ulaanbaatar. Byra is responsible for organizing the camp and catering, which is no small feat considering we have multiple camps and many different food preferences!
Camila and her team will be with you every step of the way to ensure, you cross the finish line and have a life changing experience. We provide support during the race to see everyone finish safely and with great fun!
In addition to the team listed above, you will enjoy the assistance and camaraderie of various other crew members. Local families and herders will help you handle and care for the horses and move the camp. No one knows and understands theses fantastic beasts more than the wonderful native Mongolians who care for them every day. The hospitality, kindness, and expert understanding of the land and the horses will provide you with an unmatched appreciation for this incredible experience. FEI qualified veterinarians, certified medics, and local interpreters, local chef, a fantastic team of herders to change and move camp, will also accompany you on your trek across Mongolia.