Category: Equine

Lara Prior-Palmer – first woman to win Mongol Derby

laraUK sportsmen and women are on a roll.  They are gathering medals and merits left right and centre.  Really good for British sport.

Lara Prior-Palmer is in a league of her own.  In winning the Mongol Derby, she created several records in one fell swoop.

Lara Prior-Palmer will go down in history as:

  • 2013 Winner of world’s longest horse race.
  • First Briton to win the Mongol Derby.
  • First Female Rider to win the Mongol Derby
  • The youngest person to win the longest horse race.

Well done Lara. Bravo!!!

You are GlobalGranary’s Sportwoman of the Year!


Lara Prior-Palmer – first woman to win Mongol Derby

A 19 year-old from Hampshire became the first female rider to win the Mongol Derby – known as one of the world’s toughest horse races.

Briton becomes first woman to win Mongol Derby
Lara Prior-Palmer chasing Devan Horn on the last leg of the Mongol Derby Photo: Richard Dunwoody

Jolyon Attwooll

11:22AM BST 12 Aug 2013

Lara Prior-Palmer also became the first British rider and the youngest person to win the race since it began in 2009.

She claimed victory in the 1000-kilometre race in dramatic circumstances, with the American woman Devan Horn actually crossing the finishing line first on Saturday.

However, race rules stipulate that each rider’s horse must pass a veterinary inspection at the end of each leg, and Miss Horn’s horse’s heart-rate did not recover in the required time. She was issued with a two-hour penalty, which handed victory to her British rival.

Prior-Palmer, who is the niece of Lucinda Green (six times Badminton champion), wrote in the Telegraph prior to the race that she “wasn’t scared of anything at the moment.”

The course is a recreation of Genghis Khan’s ancient postal system of 25 horse stations across the Mongolian steppe.

Riders change their semi-wild Mongolian horses at each station, and stay with the local herding families that run the stations and provide the horses.

Lara said: “I can’t really believe it … I came into the first station last because my horse was so slow and I had to walk him in. I thought that would be the end of my Mongol Derby.

“I knew that there were 30 people and nearly all of those 30 wanted to win and I really just wanted to finish.

“If you compare my first few days to my last few days I was going so much slower … and suddenly I just got the hang of it and how to ride the horses and what to do to catch up with the rest.”

Richard Dunwoody, the official race photojournalist and former champion jockey, said he’d witnessed “phenomenal riding” and that both front-riders had “set a scorching pace”.

Half of the 30 riders who started the race have now withdrawn, with only 15 now expected to complete. Many have fallen off or been bucked off their semi-wild horses or sustained injuries.


What is the Mongol Derby

  • 1000km horse race across Mongolia
  • 30 riders compete
  • Race takes in a mammoth network of 25 horse stations across the Mongolian steppe
  • Riders change their semi-wild Mongolian horses at each station approximately 40km apart

Source: BBC

The Grand National

What a very sad outcome. My first time to bet on the Grand National and the horse I chose died. According to Pete had to be put down. Really distressing!!!

Grand National Race Marred By Horse Deaths
Sky News – 1 hour 41 minutes ago

A thrilling end to the Grand National was overshadowed by the deaths of two horses including last month’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised.

Neptune Collonges became the first grey horse to win the Aintree race in more than 50 years after beating Sunnyhillboy in a photo finish.

The 33-1 shot, ridden by Daryl Jacob, came from behind and lunged at the line to land the honours by a nose against jockey Richie McLernon’s 16-1 horse.

It was trainer Paul Nicholls’ first victory in the race after sending out 52 previous runners.
The last grey National winner was Nicolaus Silver in 1961.

But there was sad news as big favourite Synchronised, ridden by Tony McCoy, suffered a fatal injury after falling early in the four-and-a-half mile race.

According To Pete also died following a fall during the steeplechase.

The beginning of the race had been delayed for a few minutes after McCoy, on board Synchronised, was tipped out of the saddle.

Although they were reunited before the start, the horse fell at the Becher’s Brook fence first time round.
According To Pete, who was brought down at Becher’s on the second circuit, was also put down.

Some fences had been modified for the race after a safety review at the course following the death of two horses during last year’s National.

The RSPCA told Sky News that serious questions must be asked about the safety of the race.
The organisation’s equine consultant David Muir said: “The RSPCA cannot continue to let this go on, whereby we had two horses die last year and a further two this year.

“One of the things we must look at is risk factors – relating to the number of fallers and the number of finishers.
“This unique race… if it is to continue, it must realise horse deaths are unacceptable to the society and the public at large.”

Julian Thick, Aintree managing director, said: “We are desperately sad at these two accidents and our sympathies are with the connections of both horses.

“When a horse gets hurt, everyone is deeply upset.

“Safety is the first priority for the organisers of the Grand National and we make every effort to ensure that everyone involved in the event is able to participate safely.”

Jacob said of Neptune Collonges’ victory: “You can’t beat this. I was on a tough horse and I said to Paul that one day I would ride you a National winner.

“That was two years ago and now I’ve done it.”

Nicholls said: “He’s probably the best horse we’ve run in the race.
“He’s got great form, he’s been placed in Gold Cups, he stays, he’s genuine and Daryl gave him a fantastic ride when you analyse where he went. It’s absolutely brilliant.

“It’s blown Nicky Henderson out of the water now (in the trainers’ championship). Any good race would do, but this is the race we wanted.”

Katie Walsh, who was aiming to become the first female jockey to win the event, was third on board 8-1 joint favourite Seabass – the best ever finish by a woman rider.

Cappa Bleu, at 16-1, was fourth at the Aintree racecourse.

Walsh said: “I had an unbelievable spin. It was a fantastic experience. It was great to get round.
“I can’t believe it’s all over and I can’t wait to do it again. At the third-last I was going OK but after the second-last I didn’t think I was going to win.”

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