Want to learn the skills you need to take on the Mongol Derby?
The Mongol Derby Academy is designed to give you the skills you need to compete in and complete the Mongol Derby. It’s primarily aimed at riders who are interested in finding out more about the Mongol Derby and testing their skills. Bob Long, winner of the 2019 Mongol Derby, completed the Academy, an experience that could have given him the edge.
"Preparation trumps youth"
2019 Academy Graduate & Mongol Derby winner - Bob Long
To break it down in a little more detail, we will be covering:
- Handling and riding the mighty Mongolian horse.
- Changing horses efficiently at horse stations.
- Camping out and hobbling your horse on the steppe.
- Navigation skills in the Mongolian steppe.
- How to use your equipment to maximise performance.
- Testing your personal equipment and receiving feedback on how best to pack for the race.
- Mongolian cultural etiquette, customs on the steppe and in relation to horses. Derby medics will also be on hand to look after you, while Derby vets will be out in the field running vet checks according to the race rules and giving you feedback on how to present your steeds.
2. Who is the Academy for?
Wondering if you're ready to take on the race?For some it will be the perfect test to find out if the Mongol Derby is you. Those who successfully complete the Academy will be offered a place in a future Derby edition.
Prepping for a future race?For riders lining up to tackle a future Derby the training camp is a great way to build confidence and experience for the race to come. There is nothing quite like it for testing your skills, equipment and stamina ahead of taking on one of the toughest horse races on the planet.
3. What's included?
- Expert training following the Mongol Derby Academy syllabus to immerse you into the world of the longest and toughest horse races on the planet.
- "Classroom" time to learn about navigation, local riding technique and medical and veterinary protocols.
- A variety of Mongolian horses including all tack and Mongol Derby custom design saddles.
- A personal satellite tracking device for tracking you during training rides, including an emergency SOS function.
- Equine vets on hand contributing to training and ensuring horse welfare.
- Expert wilderness medic on site for emergencies.
- One night of accommodation in Ulaanbaatar on the first night.
- Transfers to and from Ulaanbaatar to the Academy camp.
- Accommodation at the Academy camp in shared gers.
- All meals, soft drinks and some alcoholic drinks.
4. The Schedule
Day 1 - Ulaanbaater
Pre-Academy meet up - we'll meet in Ulaanbaatar for an evening meal and to introduce ourselves.
After a transfer from Ulaanbaatar to the Mongol Derby start camp on the steppe, the training starts straight away with a half day orientation.
Day 2 - Ulaanbaatar - Academy Camp
Travel and Arientation
Early transfer from Ulaanbaatar to start camp for orientation on site and a half day of training, meeting the Academy camp crew and getting your tack.
Days 3 to 4
Training begins in earnest - you will cover navigation, tech, horsemanship, medical, veterinary, kit/gear, wilderness survival and Mongolian steppe culture. Classroom time will be interspersed with test rides to prepare you for the longer, multi-horse ride on day 5.
Race Day Simulation
Multi-horse station ride and race day simulation - you’ve made it through all we could throw at you thus far. Now you’ll take all those newly learned skills and see what it’s like riding ‘a day in the Mongol Derby’. You’ll tack up early, just as you would on the Derby itself, and will be riding all day, making it through three horse changes/vet checks to be back in time for dinner at basecamp.
Today will arguably be one of the most epic days of your lives. You’ll be riding to The Herder Trials, where our Mongol Derby families will have appointed one champion from each of their ranks to take part in various traditional horsemanship competitions. The winner will earn a sponsored spot to our Gaucho Derby Academy in Argentina and live alongside the Gauchos in a cultural/horsemanship exchange. This will be followed up by the Grand Finale, awards ceremony and lots of live music and dancing.
Back to Ulaanbaatar
Breakfast and transfer back to Ulaanbaatar.