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


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

Compete against riders coming from the four corners of the world. Cut your self off from the modern world.


You may wonder, who can ride The Gobi Desert Cup?


Well quite frankly, at The Gobi Desert Cup we like a bit of a mixed field. Our riders range from 24 to 70 years old (Don't let the age fool you these guys were fit, strong, competitive. They certainly stood out as well conditioned and prepared. And yes they were the proof that age really is a number). We have had international endurance superstars who won national championships and participated in the world championship, FEI qualified ***. We also had some talented and brave eventers and show jumpers. Exceptional horseman and woman who had taken parts in the brumby challenge, colt starting also participated. Oh, and let's not forget the camp drafters; those are also to watch out for usually!!

The other half are usually amateurs with an attitude that get them through anything.  They own horses or not, they ride every day or not, they have done endurance or not. Yes, that's right those were everyday riders who trained, prepared, turned up and kicked asses. They made it look easy, turned up every morning with a smile and determination, nothing or no one could beat out of them. They sought advice, took everything in their stride and believed that when things got hard and things went wrong that when attitude defines the race. ATTITUDE. Being physically and emotionally fit is the secret their carry. They usually do very well in the competition and go home with extraordinary memories, and everyone loves them.

 "You just can't beat a person who never gives up."
Babe Ruth, baseball legend (1895-1948).





Ride The Gobi Desert Cup



Have you got the




Welcome to The Gobi Desert Cup, with a 480 kilometre multi stage endurance race through the Gobi desert, riding Mongolian horses everyday for 80 kilometre.

Following a marked course, starting every morning at 7 AM, riders must complete the course before 7PM.

Two vet checks are held each day; one at the 40 km checkpoint and one at the end of the 80km.

You will find checkpoints every 10 to 15 km along the course to water your horse and get assistance where required.

When entering the vetting area, riders will have 30 minutes to get their horse's heart rate to 64 bpm or below. At each vet check, horses will also be trotted out under saddle and checked for lameness.

After passing the vet check, a 40 min compulsory vet hold will allow both riders and horses to rest, eat and drink.
If the horse failed the vet check, the rider will be eliminated for the day and will be carried forward in a car (The rider will start again the next day but will not get any points for the day when vetted out).

The horses selected for the cup qualify based on age, health, quietness, experience and ability to cover long distances. Once qualified, the horses go to our training center to be prepared and conditioned for the race.


The race is based on a point system. Riders will compete individually and in teams of four.

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.

Riders will be invited to an opening and closing ceremony with local entertainment, presentation.

There will be an award for the best-managed horses through the race.
Daily awards for the best-managed horse and a rider merit.



Each night riders will be invited to a briefing before they enjoy a chef's cooked meal. We will hand out the daily awards and discuss anything we feel need to be mentioned or reinforced.

It is also a great time to talk about your day, ask for advice and most importantly share stories around a glass of fermented mare's milk!

What is included in your nomination?

  • Pick up and drop off in Ulan Bataar the capital of Mongolia on the 22nd and 31st of August 2018.
  • Two days training at the start camp. You will learn to approach, handle and ride the Mongolian horses. Practice the vet check, discover the rider's log book where all vetting is recorded. We will review the rules and race structure. 
  • A camp including huge, comfortable tents (which you will share with other riders) with basic amenities. You will have no access to running water but for your shower, no electricity and most likely no phone service!
  • Chef cooked meals and traditional Mongolian food during the different ceremonies including fermented mare's milk.
  • A team of professional veterinarian qualified FEI who have international vetting experience at high endurance level to insure international horse welfare standards.
  • Trained Mongolian horses, and a crew to care for them, train them and transport them. The horses are selected than transported to our training centre where they get trained, fed, conditioned and monitored. There will be over 100 horses in training, and that requires a lot of people and feed!
  • A crew to set up and transport camp. Horseman and herders to train and manage and transport the horses for prior your arrival in Mongolia. A lot of jobs are created before during and after the race, mainly nomadic people.
  • A doctor to follow you during the race and attend any accident that may occur.
  • Officials to be at the checkpoints every 80km at 15,30,55,70km; they will report to the ride director any incident and provide you with water for both horses and riders.
  • Local entertainment including a traditional Mongolian race, musician, dancers and more...
  • A camel race on the last day before the presentation, that is the big surprise! Great fun even after 480 km!
  • Emails and support from our ride director and international endurance rider: Camila. You will be in touch months before the race, she will  help you get ready and pack your bags,  what to wear, what to expect and put you in touch with the riders you will be riding with this year through a messenger group.
  • We also help by reminding you about organising your visa and insurance paperwork. Rider's safety and horse welfare are a priority.
  • From pick up to drop off, it is basically all inclusive. Transport, food, accommodation and the occasional extra party or treat!



  • Insurance, you must get your own insurance.
  • Visa (some countries require a visa to enter Mongolia).
  • Flights, hotel depending when you arrive and leave Mongolia.
  • Fenders, cage stirrups, helmets, back pack with water bladder and bedding (sleeping bag, camping mattress and pillow).
  • You will also need a stethoscope and stop watch.



Upon receipt of your letter of invitation a NON-refundable deposit of 20% of full nomination fee must be paid to secure a place in the Gobi Desert Cup.
Nomination fees: Please select in which currency you will be paying your nomination (For subsequent payments, you may not use another currency from the initial one selected).

US$7000      AUD$9500      Euro: 6300      

The payment schedule: 20% upon sign up (deposit); 50% by the 20th of January; 75% by the 10th of April; and 100% by the 5th of July 2019.

Late payment will accrue 7% p.a. interest calculated daily.

We have a no-refund policy; therefore, we encourage riders to insure their nomination fee.


Each year limited places are available and by invitation only.

JOIN US for the equestrian ADVENTURE of a lifetime.