The 2016 Mongol Derby Interviews - David Redvers

David Redvers at Urtuu 13, Day 4
Photo by Richard Dunwoody for Mongol Derby

Congratulations David. From the Derby finish line, what are your thoughts on the whole race?  

It’s a difficult one to sum up in anything other than a short novel. It's been been quite staggering, that it's quite hard to talk about. 

It’s been one of the most powerful and inspiring and equally the most draining experience of my life. The scenery is so breathtaking, one minute you’re galloping past the herder camels, past a yak and then a golden eagle flies up in front of you. 

What stands out about Mongolia?

The people and their hospitality. They embarrass you with their generosity. One family barely had anything and yet wanted to share everything with us. I feel completely humbled by the experience. At the same time it’s physically very draining. You are either galloping flat-out, almost out of control or you’ve got to kick and push. When you got the good pony, which invariably you did several times a day, it's incredible. They’ve got hearts the size of lions. 

Nothing compares to the Mongolian pony. It’s natural selection at it’s absolute rawest.

David Redvers leaves Urtuu 10 at daybreak, Day 4.
Photo by Richard Dunwoody for Mongol Derby

What did you think of the horses?

Nothing compares to the Mongolian pony. It’s natural selection at it’s absolute rawest. They are born on out on the hills and they’ve survived through their own strength. To be carried at flat-out pace for 15kms non stop is as close as you’ll ever get to flying.

The whole things is all quite raw still.  The people we’ve done it with have been brilliant. I was incredibly lucky to be ride most of the way with Alexandra Hardham and Alice Newling. When you were feeling really shit and cold and grumbly, all you could see was their teeth because they were smiling so much.

To be carried at flat-out pace for 15kms non stop is as close as you’ll ever get to flying.

David Redvers, right, comes over the finish line with Shannon Nott, Alexandra Hardham and Alice Newling
Photo by Richard Dunwoody for Mongol Derby


The 2016 Mongol Derby is finished 13th August 2016.