Call for Riders: Gobi Desert Cup 2020

We Invite You to the Adventure of a Lifetime.

Discover the slowly disappearing Mongolian lifestyle, ride one of the oldest and toughest horse breeds in the world, and be part of an authentic nomadic camp.

The 2020 Gobi Desert Cup will take place 19th August to 28th August 2020 in Mongolia. Entries are open, and we are now accepting international applications.

Up to 20 riders will be selected across the globe to participate in a unique, multi-stage endurance ride over 480 kilometers in six days on Mongolian horses. Our event combines international horse welfare standards and dedication to the sustainability of the nomadic culture, this event is unlike any other in the world. Each day you will ride a different Mongolian horse 80 kilometers on a different Mongolian horse trained and explicitly conditioned for our event.


The terrain will change day-to-day and carry you across the land of Genghis Khan. Stay in a traditional nomadic camp, live without plumbing and electricity, and step back into time.

“It is truly the most character building challenge I have ever faced and overcome.” Kendall Moore 2017 Gobi Desert Cup Rider, Stannum Stock Horses.

Who can ride The Gobi Desert Cup?


Our riders have ranged from 24 to 71 years old. Anyone with horse experience over 18 may apply.

We have had international FEI qualified *** endurance superstars who have won national championships and participated in the world championships. We also had some talented and brave eventers and show jumpers — exceptional horseman and woman who have taken part in the brumby challenge as well.

We look for everyday riders who will train, prepare, and crave the adventure. Will you turn up every morning with a smile and determination? Do you believe that when things get hard and things go wrong that it is all part of the journey?

Race Details

The race is based on a point system. Riders will compete individually and in teams of four, which they themselves choose. Each day the race begins at 7 AM, and participants will have 12 hours to complete the marked course.

What happens if a rider vets out? They will not get any points for the day but will keep riding the following day. If vetted out at the 40km vetting, they will be carried forward, and the horse will be picked up.

Important -If you don’t want to race, and just ride a Mongolian horse each day, then we welcome you as well! You have 12 hours to complete the 80 kilometers (50 miles) each day. For some of us it is about the journey and not how fast we get there.

Riders are invited to an opening and closing ceremony with local entertainment and a presentation of awards.

There will be an award for the best-managed horses through the ride.

The Mongolian Horse and Nomad Foundation

The Монголын адуу болон нүүдэлчдийн сан (Mongolian Horse and Nomad Foundation) is a Non-Government Organization based in Mongolia and the official foundation of our race. The non-profit is devoted to making a difference in the nomadic community.


Mongolia is a country of ancient traditions, mostly untouched by the outside world. You will not find a kinder, more generous culture. Mongolians, especially the nomads, are proud to share their traditions with others. Unfortunately, with desertification of the Gobi Desert and rising costs, many nomads are leaving centuries of tradition to move to the capital of Ulaanbaatar to feed their families. Currently, 42% of Mongolians live in the capital city, rife with pollution and overcrowding. The nomadic culture is dwindling, and it is our mission to share their traditions and help to provide a sustainable way of life for these families.


Through our annual event, The Gobi Desert Cup, we provide a sustainable wage for our 90% local Mongolian staff to support their families, pay for schooling, and ensure proper nutrition and veterinary attention for their horses. We provide the most competitive wage of any Mongolian event, and the unique endurance race brings global attention to this dwindling lifestyle.

Apply today to join us on a life-changing adventure, unlike any other at

Camille Champagne