A north west Queensland endurance rider is calling for nominations for her inaugural ride through the Gobi Desert in south Mongolia.
After competing in the longest and toughest horse race in the world – Mongol Derby – Camille Champagne Bargenquast is preparing her own endurance ride in conjunction with an internationally experienced Mongolian vet and two endurance riders from America.
Ms Bargenquast is the co-manager of Linda Downs station located 225 kilometres south west of Mount Isa and will travel overseas to organise what she describes as “a most prestigious endurance ride”, the Gobi Desert Cup.
“While racing in Mongolia last year, I realised that three-quarters of the riders couldn’t handle the roughness of the horses and the race situation in general,” Ms Bargenquast said.
“From the food which consisted of floating bits of mutton fat in a soup, the danger of camping wherever at nights with semi-wild horses, the distance, being on your own with no assistance (only serious emergency) and no showers for 10 days. Those people around me weren’t prepared and their experience wasn’t a success.
“I was listening to the riders around me. They inspired us to create the Gobi Desert Cup.”
The Gobi Desert Cup is a 480km endurance race in which riders compete for six days, riding 80km a day. Starting at sunrise every morning, each must reach the camp before sunset. Two vet checks are held in a day; one at the 40km checkpoint and another one at the end of the 80km.
“Every night riders will camp together and enjoy the luxury of basic amenities and meals prepared by a five star chef,” Ms Bargenquast said.
“Each day riders will ride a new Mongolian horse that has been qualified, selected and trained especially to compete in the Gobi Desert Cup. This endurance ride is all about completing the race, and having a great time while discovering the Mongolian culture.”
The race will take place in on September 5 in Mongolia outside Ulan Bator, and travel south of the Gobi Desert where riders will enjoy the different scenery.
Ms Bargenquast will chose 30 riders from the nominations from all over the world, to take part in the endurance race.
She advises riders interested in participating, “they must be confident, regular riders who have a sense of adventure.”
The first individual to cross the finish line will be awarded the Gobi Desert Cup and the first three riders across the line will receive a medal.
To nominate for the Gobi Desert Cup visit the website at www.gobidesertcup.com