Day four of the 2014 Derby and with 15 of 27 stations down, surely we're half way to crowning a champion? The lead pack has just slimmed to 9 riders after Madison Kauffman opted to slow down for her riding partner Lisa Youngwerth who has been unwell.
Aside from Lisa and the retirements from yesterday Claudia Vicente spent all day and most of the night battling illness, but is still in the saddle, just making HS11 before the course closed for the night.
There have also been three more retirements through the day; Alex Piltz who threw in the towel at first light with a suspected UTI, Katherine Peters who was hit by the exhaustion/ dehydration/ D&V which seems to claim so many riders and Emile Colling who suffered a heavy fall. Being a doctor Emile prescribed himself some heavy painkillers and is on his way back to Ulaanbaatar.
The riders have ridden well today on a leg which has tested their navigation skills and on some mounts that have tested their horsemanship. The report is that the horses at HS12 and HS16 will fly like greyhounds on amphetamines so there should be some great riding tomorrow.
All eyes will be on Sam Jones to see if she will end the day with daylight between her and the next rider.
For anyone wondering how top riders fall from these little horses, here's a mongolian herder (widely regarded as the best horsemen in the world) falling from his own mount.
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