Donal Fahy - Mongol Derby 2012 Winner

After seven days and the closest run battle for first place in the history of the Derby we have a winner. Donal Fahy of Ireland takes first place in the World's longest and toughest horse race.

It was a nail biting finish as the lead changed hands many times over the final 2 legs. After a rough night in a shed, Donal and his riding partner for the whole race Richie Killoran (also of Ireland) came into horse station 23 early morning mistakenly thinking they were in the lead only to discover they were in 4th and 5th place. The following two legs saw them both put in an impecable performance and made up 30 minutes to join the race leader Barry Armitage. Barry had been riding with Joe Dawson both from South Africa and had held a comanding lead for the majority of the race; Joe was at this point riding a couple of hours behind Barry for a vet penalty.

Michaela Gradinger (Austria) and Christoffer Adriansson (Sweden) fell behind as Barry, Richie and Donal fought for first place.

As they thundered across the line, Barry and Donal were litterally neck a neck with Richie just 44 seconds behind. As the dust settled on their 1000km ride the horses went straight into the vet check and unfortunately Barry picked up a 2 hour vet penalty. Loosing him the joint first position and shifting Richie into second. Third place was taken just under an hour later by Michaela Gradinger who was followed just a few seconds later by Christoffer Adriansson.

On winning Donal said "I'm feeling great that it's over. It's been a hell of a 7 days. Long days and really tough days, but on the whole it has been incredible. Not only is this the toughest horse race in the world. it's the toughest thing I've ever done. The whole mental side, to keep pushing on and pushing on, but in the same breath it got to be one of the better things I've ever done. Now I can't wait to have a shower and a few beers."

Full placing are being posted below as the riders continue to cross the line.

Richard Dunwood, the Derby photographer and pundit was on th eline as Barry and Donal rode in  "It's great that the Irish lads have won. A bit against the odds at some points. I was standing on the line at the end of 1000km and it was incredible to witness them come in after the distance they've travelled. Commiserations to Barry who had some really hard luck at the end there. Those two South African lads have put in a very strong performance, they have slept out a lot to make good time and Barry took a faceplant this morning getting on his horse, so it's really tough for him to drop back from joint first. Also, great to see Donal back after breaking his back, this is his first win after the injury."

First three to cross the Mongol Derby finish line celebrate (Left to right Donal Fahy, Richie Killoran & Barry Armitage)

First 3 to cross the line of the Mongol Derby 2012 celebrate with beers

First 3 to cross the line of the Mongol Derby 2012 celebrate with beers

  • 1st Donal Fahy
  • 2nd Richie Killoran
  • 3rd Michaela Gradinger
  • 4th Christoffer Adriansson
  • 5th Joe Dawson
  • 6th Barry Armitage
  • 7th= Julie Youngblood
  • 7th = Charlotte Trelevan
  • 9th Mattias Garland
  • 10th Sam Wyborn
  • 11th Simon Pearse
  • 12th Craig Springate
  • 13th Heather Mostert
  • 14th = Ben de Rivas
  • 14th = Will Grant
  • 14th = Campbell Costello
  • 17th Sonja Timana
  • 18th Wendy Chambers

And then the following riders didn't get a ranking in the race, which can be for a number of reasons. Some are not able to complete because of an injury or other reasons. Others may complete the vast majority of the race but are not able to recieve a ranking because they skipped a section of the course.

  • Paul de Rivas - injured
  • Linda Sandvik - injured
  • Ronald Van der Velden - injured
  • Erin Shanson - injured
  • Ivo Marloh
  • George Azarias
  • Alya Obaid
  • Jess Pelaez
  • Lucy Yorke-Long
  • Nicole Waltr
  • Anne Schutman
  • Jess Russell
  • Erik Cooper
  • Aimee Costello
  • Katherine Friedley
  • Eveline Gawne

First to cross the line Barry Armitage and Donal Fahy shake hands

What you look like after 1000km on horseback as Donal and Barry cross the line together


What you look like after 1000km on horseback as Donal and Barry cross the line together

First to cross the line of the Mongol Derby 2012

First to cross the line of the Mongol Derby 2012