What can I expect?
The Gobi Desert Cup is a 480 km endurance ride in which riders will complete 80km per day for six days. Starting at sunrise every morning, each rider must reach the camp before sunset. Two vet checks are held each day; one at the 40km checkpoint and another one at the end of the 80km. A rider’s time will stop after passing the vet check at the end of every 80km leg. There is a compulsory vet hold of 40 minutes after vetting at each checkpoint to rest the horse. Riders may spend extra time to rest at their discretion.
The horses you will be riding will be selected after they qualify based on their health, age, experience and ability to complete long distances. Once qualified these Mongolian horses will undertake endurance training. The Mongolian horses selected for the Cup, undertake long distance training and are expected to to do the course at 12-13km/hour in average. We are all about horse welfare and rider's completion of the race. To encourage great horsemanship, we will have daily and overall awards including best-managed horse and merit for the riders.
Riders will be provided with food at the checkpoints with water being carried daily in camel packs. Water will be available for the horses at the checkpoints. A traditional Mongolian camp awaits at the end of each day, with a local family of herders helping to unsaddle and take care of the horses at both checkpoints.
Our chef will cook meals after riders enjoy showers! Riders' personal bags will be transported to each camp. All the rider can carry to the camp is whatever you can fit into one large bag. Most hotels will offer to keep your other bags until you come back.
Where is the ride?
The Gobi Desert Cup will be running from the start camp outside Ulaan Bataar towards Mandal Gobi, and travel to the south of Mongolia towards Dalanzadgad, the capital of Umnugobi tothe south of the Gobi Desert. The course changes yearly and stay confidential until a few weeks before the race.
When is it?
- Meeting in Ulaan Bataar, the capital of Mongolia and catch a transfer bus to start camp.
- Race briefing at the start camp where you will meet the officials, herders, discover the Mongolian horses and talk about the race and it's rules.
- Equipment will be tested, over two short test ride.
August 24th-29th August
- The riders will complete the 480km ride - 80km a day for six days.
- A day of entertainment provided by local artists, lots of celebrations and a memorable party for all.
- The closing ceremony; A presentation for the first three riders who completed the race with the fastest time. The first 3 teams of 4 riders with the fastest time, will be decorated.
- Transfer by bus or 4x4 back to UB to start their journey home.
What does the price Include?
- Pick up from UB and transfer by bus or 4x4 to the start camp.
- A chef and cooks to prepare three generous meals a day from pick up until drop off back to UB.
- Medics are available throughout the race for anything you need.
- Mongolian tents provided for sleeping. Note: You will be sharing a tent with other riders.
- Showers and toilets (they will be very basic).
- The race begins on the 24th of August and for the next six days (until the 29th), you will be racing 80 km a day in The Gobi Desert Cup.
- A team of Mongolian horses for the race. Those horses will also be used to train at start camp.
- Local Herders to help you with the Mongolian horses.
- Riding equipment: Endurance saddles (specially designed for the Mongolian horses), saddle pad, girth and bridles will be provided. STIRRUPS, HELMETS AND FENDERS ARE NOT PROVIDED.
- A top team of FEI qualified vets, to look after the horses.
- Interpreters to help you connect with the locals at every camp.
- Drivers to move gear and horses around.
- A team of friendly organisers to help you through your journey including chief steward and ride director.
- The Gobi Desert Crew to make sure the race is running fair, to give you support and most importantly to keep you and your horse safe.
- Closing ceremony and presentation, surprises and a party with more food than you can eat!
- Transfer bus or 4x4 back from the finish camp to UB.