Mongol Derby 2015 - 5 Hot Tips

With the 2015 Derby due to start tomorrow it's time to take a look at who might take the derby crown in 2015. Each year the experience of the riders gets more impressive and the 2015 riders are no exception. We've chosen five riders we're tipping for success.

First though is to define what it takes to win the world's toughest horse race. To us there are three main criteria for a Derby champ.

Riding Ability
All these guys can ride, but the winners will have to ride near faultlessly 145 km a day for 8 days. All of this on a collection of semi wild horses. 

Survival Experience
You don't just have to look out for your horse you have your own well-being to think about and the steppe can feel pretty lonely when everything has gone to shit. The winners won't be phased by breaking kit, escaping horses or diarrhea.  

The need to win
In endurance events half the field are just fighting to finish. Most of the rest set out that way but change heart when they realise the effort involved. The champ will have the thirst to win even after 8 days of battling no sleep, saddle sores and the cold.


Devan Horn

It would take a brave person to discount Devan from any Mongol Derby podium. After missing out on 1st place in the 2012 Derby in dramatic fashion because of a veterinary penalty she is a clear favourite for 2015.

She's still the fastest person to finish the derby (second allowing for the penalty) and has spent the last two years working on her fitness and adding to her endurance accolades.

It is possibly the new racing line might nullify her navigation prowess but her experience of the derby should win her a greater advantage. It will be interesting to see how she finds the mountains in the second half of the course. 


Braden Cameron

Could this World Equestrian Games competitor be the first Mongol Derby champ from New Zealand?  

Her seems to have distance riding in his blood. When he's not taking place in endurance races he breeds and trains endurance stock on his farm in Wellington.

As well as the endurance riding skills Braden certainly has the outdoors credentials and has competed in endurance races across many disciplines.


Kathryn Whitney

A young lady who can count our own Derby chief, Katy amongst her admirers. While most riders are cagey about their prospects, Kathryn was the first to declare her intention for derby glory.

As well as competitive riding she has an impressive survival CV including numerous trips to the Arctic.


Patrick Sells

This British equine vet resides in New Zealand along with a number of strong looking 2015 Derby riders.

Though not an obvious favourite Patrick lives and breathes horses and as a self declared 'hardcore survivalist' looks not only to have the outdoor skills but also knows how to talk himself up.

To be a champ in this race you're going to have to back yourself and his confidence should pay dividends.


Simon Pearce

Another outside chance, this 54 year old South African will be sure to finish before many riders half his age.

Simon finished the 2012 Derby in 11th place despite numerous broken ribs.

Not only does is this testament to his toughness, but also means he'll be busy while the rest of the field are coming to terms with what they've let themselves in for.


There is one other factor to consider when looking for your champion and that is luck. 1000 km is a long ride and the capricious hand of fate is sure to give the middle finger liberally.

There are some strong riders right across the field too and any number of wildcards could defy expectation and take the gold like Sam Jones did in 2014.

The Full List of Riders can be found over on the Mongol Derby website.

You can follow the live tracking here, The Mongol Derby twitter here and get daily race updates by subscribing to the mailing list here.

Applications for 2016 are open. If you prefer to participate than spectate you can apply here.