Toughest and Longset Horse Race in the World

rachel roman,
mongol derby competitor


Here’s the Story.

This is the Mongol Derby, based on the nerve system of the largest empire in human history. Genghis Khan’s mighty horse messenger system connected half the planet. The Derby has recreated this system to bring glory, chafing and honor to riders from around the world brave enough to tackle the ultimate equestrian adventure. 

1000 kilometers in total, consisting of high passes, huge valleys, wooded hills, river crossings, wetland, dunes and, of course, the vast expanse of open steppe. All this and more awaits those tough enough to take it on. Using semi-wild Mongolian horses, riders must navigate and survive using only their own wits and skill, whilst living among the herders. The only rules in race are for horse welfare, which is taken very seriously. Besides that, it’s you and your horse vs. the wild. 

This is no pony trek, it is the Mongol Derby, the world’s longest and toughest horse race. This August I will be setting off across the starting line with 40 other adventure seekers.


The Who and the Why.

I’m Rachel Roman, an adventure-seeking, nature-loving athlete-in-training based in the Pacific Northwest. I grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and have spent my whole life on or around horses. What started with a pony in the backyard turned into a lifelong passion for equestrian work – no matter the place, I’ve always found a way to connect with the broader equine community.

When I’m not in riding boots, I spend the majority of my time outdoors. Growing up I was always outside tromping in the woods or out in the water on the Chesapeake Bay. I got my first taste of true wilderness during a National Outdoor Leadership (NOLS) course, spending three months in the Southwestern U.S. climbing mountains, rafting rivers and going 22 days without a shower. But these days I’m just trying to find ways to fit in adventures amidst an average 9 - 5 “adult” life. This race is an opportunity to combine my two biggest passions in life and find out if I still have that adventurist spirit that can keep me smiling through the longest and toughest horse race in the world.