With just one day of riding left and the first 9 riders finished you'd be forgiven for thinking the race is over. For a number of riders though the race is very much still on and it's wrong to assume they aren't riding as hard as they can.
Early finishers today were Madison Kauffman, Lisa Youngwerth and Courtney Davis, who crossed the line together at 11:16 bizarrely joined by a goat who seemed to be enjoying the attention.
Later in the day Heather Russell and Chris Berkers rode in well on a couple of fine looking horses. They were further blessed by a cool tailwind softening the heat of the day. Heather has proven to be a big hit with both derby staff and herders even picking up a rare compliment from Derby Chief Katy.
Chris has endured an eventful 48 hours, waking yesterday (Wednesday) morning off course in between HS21 & HS22. At HS23 she declared she "Would never get back on a horse again". She apparently had a change of heart after a cracking run to HS25, but was back in trouble when she needed to be returned to HS25 with exhaustion. She took a ride forward yesterday evening and began the day on much better form.
Further back in the field things were less competitive as Claudia Vincente, Antoine Carle, Krystal Kelly, Michael Eriksson and Jess Kwong took a detour between HS24 & HS25 via the picturesque Ugii lake.
Aside from the goat the finish line has been buoyed by the return of Bonnie Hutton who on finishing went to Ulaanbaatar to check out the damage to her hand. The scan confirmed she has a spiral fracture to her 4th metacarpal, an injury she rode with for 250km. She broke her hand after her horse from HS21 threw her three times, the third of which causing the injury. "He was a spooky little guy but great" was the worst she could say of the horse. A proper lady.
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