Mongol Derby Day 6: Over the River and Through the … Um, This Seems Dangerous

There is no bridge over troubled water, only trouble, for riders in the Mongol Derby. On day 6 Jocelyn Pierce remains unsinkable, while the Aussies cling to a narrow lead.

Angus Lowe of South Africa and Charlotte Howard of New Zealand cross the river after station 18 as the bridge was washed away. Photo by Laurence Squire/Mongol Derby

Whereas most sane humans are content to spend their summer vacay at the lake or on a beach, the 40-odd maniacs contesting the 2018 Mongol Derby opted to blow theirs on a 10-day stint of pain and suffering. At least, however, they managed to get a little swim in!

A hearty chunk of the field, or whatever remains of it, has now traversed the flood-swollen Kherlen River 5 kilometers out from horse station #18. To be fair it looked more like a refreshing photo op than a Oregon Trail style oxen death-trap…

Pony jet ski: Aussie Eliza Allan fords the river. Photo by Laurence Squire/Mongol Derby.

… well, unless you were attempting to cross it on four wheels instead of four legs.

Photo courtesy of the Mongol Derby.

So, brass tacks: where are the riders? Let’s have a look at the official day 6 leaderboard:

Urtuu 26 – Adrian Corboy (AUS) & Annabel Neasham (AUS)

In between 25 & 26 – Devan Horn (USA)

Urtuu 25 – Eliza Allan (AUS), Angus Lowe (RSA), Charlotte Howard (NZ)

In between 24 & 25 – Hinke van der Werf, just before 24. Ed & Jack Archibald (AUS), Henry Bell (AUS), Michael Turner (USA) & Jocelyn Pierce (USA) further back

In between 23 & 24 – Valeria Ariza (URU)

Urtuu 22 – Christine Roberts (USA), Eion Kemp (NZ), Kelsey Riley (USA), John Moore (IRE)

Urtuu 21 – Trudi Thomas-Morton (NZL), Kelsey Opstad (USA)

Urtuu 19 – Joel Scholz (USA), Nicolette Merle-Smith (USA), Michael Gascon (USA), William Gunning (USA), Karrin O’Loughlin (AUS), Dori Hertel (USA), Pamela Karner (USA), Charmaine O’Niel (IRE), Saif Noon (PAK), Matthew Graham (USA), Manuel Mendez (POR), Tamara Becksted (CAN), Jeanette Lazarro (USA) & Gemma Ractliffe (UK)

Urtuu 18: Carol Federighi (USA)

Retirees: Cele Stone (AUS), Heather ‘Flash’ Accardo (USA), Kathy Gabriel (AUS), Madison Smith (USA), Samantha Anderson (RZA)

In the bloodwagon, keen to get back on the course: Rodney Herman (AUS), Chase and Mike Becker (AUS), Rouke Bloemsma (NED)

American honeymooners Nicolette Merle-Smith and Joel Scholz plus third-wheel Michael Gascon cross the river. Photo by Laurence Squire/Mongol Derby.

After a day of racing well and consistently,” according to HQ, Practical Horseman’s intrepid Jocelyn Pierce appears to be safely hunkered down between horse stations 23 and 24. Nights get cold on the steppe and we’re glad she has her choice of four strapping men to cozy up to. Only slightly awkward that three of them — the two brothers and cousin colloquially dubbed “the Archibells” — are related. Fingers crossed they dual for her affection at the finish.

Likewise things are HOT! HOT! HOT! at the top of the field, with a Derby champion (champions?) likely to be crowned tomorrow. Aussie leaders Adrian Corboy and Annabel Neasham are just two pit stops from the finish, a very doable distance to cover in a day. Meanwhile Devan Horn is hot on their heels and, as we’ve repeated witnessed, she cannot be discounted; however, she’s three vet penalties into a four vet penalty maximum, so one more and she’s Texas toast.

Stay tuned!


Missed out on the earlier stories? Get caught up on all the action!

Practical Horseman Associate Editor Jocelyn Pierce is competing in the Mongol Derby, a 600-mile expedition considered the longest and toughest horse race in the world, Aug. 8-27. Here’s how to follow the action, sponsored by Mane ‘n Tail and SmartPak:

• Visit Practical Horseman for daily race recaps and Jocelyn updates from 2017 Derby finisher Leslie Wylie
• Follow Jocelyn’s progress live via her GPS tracker, read official reports via the Derby website, and follow @mongolderbylive on Twitter
• Tune in for Derby Dot Watch Party podcasts presented by Horse Radio Network in partnership with Practical Horseman, broadcast live nightly at 8 p.m. EST 

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