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March 5, 2020

Category: Gaucho Derby

 

The sun beat down on the Patagonian steppe today, giving the riders a taste of the kind of weather extremes they might expect over the course of the race, but that didn’t detract from the enjoyment they derived from their first navigation ride. Each rider practised entering coordinates into their GPS units and then charted their course to a set point a few kilometers away where vet teams awaited their arrival. Easy enough when the stakes are low: event managers, vet teams, and medics were on hand to shepherd any wayward riders back on course should they veer too far towards Chile or Antarctica, but will they be able to manage this well once set free on the racecourse proper tomorrow morning at 10am? We won’t have to wait too long to find out, as it’s only a few hours until the start gun fires.

 Photographer: Anya Campbell

By all reports, it’ll be a fast and furious beginning to this epic horse race – unless that packhorse slows them down – a definite wrinkle for those not used to riding with a second steed in tow. 

Tomorrow night (race day 1) will see them through the first vet station, a pastoral yet minimalistic estancia (located southeast of Lago Burmeister for those of you keen to do some map googling) where vets and medics are in place this evening ready to usher the first riders on their way.  

  Photographer: Anya Campbell 

Be sure to tune in tomorrow night for a round-up of all the race action as our Pioneers tackle Day 1, and be sure to catch all the Day 1 play-by-play on Twitter @gauchoderby, Instagram @ gauchoderby, and on Facebook @derbygaucho