Mongolian Horse and Nomad Foundation
The Official Non-Profit Foundation of The Gobi Desert Cup
The Mongolian Horse and Nomad Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization who is devoted to making a difference in the nomadic community. 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 provide 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.
Mongolia holds more than 3 million horses, an equine population which outnumbers the country’s human population. This breed is largely unchanged since the times of Genghis Khan. Horses play an extremely important role in the culture and many families have a horse for each member. While only semi-domesticated, they live outside throughout the year in all weather and temperatures and travel with the nomads.
Horse racing is the #1 sport in Mongolia, but not all horses have the muscle fibers for speed and swiftness. The horses that do not make the cut are better-qualified for the marathon rides. These are the horses that are trained for the Gobi Desert Cup challenge. As such, the locals receive payment and compensation for horses that they would not ordinarily profit from in horse racing or at home.
The Nomadic Lifestyle
Mongolia is a country of ancient traditions, largely 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 the annual Gobi Desert Cup event, our herdsmen are paid an annual, sustainable wage allowing them to remain in the countryside to live as nomads like generations before. The nomadic culture is slowly disappearing as herders struggle to feed their families thereby moving to the capital. The participation of international riders and sponsorships create income for these nomads to pay for schooling, feed their families, and provide veterinary care and nutrition for their horses.
International Horse Welfare
The Mongolian Horse and Nomad Foundation through the annual Gobi Desert Cup brings FEI-qualified 3* and 4* veterinarians to the landlocked country. Our international veterinarians and Mongolian veterinarians work together closely to improve the lives of the local horses and improve living conditions, survival rates, and prepare them adequately for the harsh winters.
Donations and Sponsorships
Each year we hold The Gobi Desert Cup. Before, during, and after the event the nomads are paid a living wage to train, condition, and feed their horses. In addition, veterinary medicine is provided, which is often too expensive and unaccessible to the herdsmen.
The riders participation fees and brand sponsorships go directly to the preparation of the race and the benefit of the local Mongolian people.
International riders not only compete in an endurance race on Mongolian horses, but experience nomadic horsemanship, traditions, local culture, and more.