1,000 Kilometers of History: The Mongol Derby

In the May issue of Outside, American cowboy Will Grant recounts his attempt to win the Mongol Derby, a 1,000-kilometer journey across the majestic grasslands of central Asia on the backs of the same ponies that carried Genghis Khan and his hordes to war. Take a look at a few snaps from his epic adventure.

Above, author Will Grant tempts fate on the back of a notoriously prickly Mongolian pony.
(Richard Dunwoody)
Asia Dunwoody Photography Mongol Derby Mongolia Steppe

In the May issue of Outside, American cowboy Will Grant recounts his attempt to win the Mongol Derby, a 1,000-kilometer journey across the majestic grasslands of central Asia on the backs of the same ponies that carried Genghis Khan and his hordes to war. Take a look at a few snaps from his epic adventure.

Above, author Will Grant tempts fate on the back of a notoriously prickly Mongolian pony.

A Mongolian spectator follows along on his motor cycle in hopes of catching some more of the action.

Asia Dunwoody Photography Mongol Derby Mongolia Steppe
(Richard Dunwoody)


Racer Ben de Rivaz, one of Will Grant's on-and-off companions during the race, takes a break and a swig.

mongolia mongol derby horse racing


A herder and his son stop to watch the race.

mongol derby mongolia herders horses horse racing
(Will Grant)


The author on day two of the Mongol Derby.

mongol derby mongolia horse racing horses herders grass fields
(Will Grant)


The author is welcomed by the locals into a yurt for some food and a little arm wrestling.

mongol derby mongolia horse racing arm wrestling
(Will Grant)


Ben de Rivaz, stops to read a map. The riders were given Google Maps print-out and were frequently frustrated by the lack of information.

mongol derby mongolia map will grant horse racing cowboys
(Will Grant)


Racer Sam Wyborn walks along side his horse after a grueling day.

Asia Dunwoody Photography Mongol Derby Mongolia Steppe
(Richard Dunwoody)


Richie Killoran on Leg 2 of the Mongol Derby. Killoran would eventually finish 2nd.

Asia Dunwoody Photography Horseracing Mongol Derby Mongolia Steppe
(Richard Dunwoody)

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