Racing manager Annabel Neasham triumphs in gruelling Mongol Derby
Annabel Neasham from Oxfordshire, who is racing manager to trainer Ciaron Maher in Melbourne, has emerged triumphant in the world's longest horserace, the Mongol Derby.
The 1,000km race began last Friday – 24 hours late due to, among other things, torrential monsoon rain and a flooded steppe – and concluded on Wednesday, with 27-year-old Neasham and her riding partner from Australia, Adrian Corboy, who also works for Maher and stepped in for him at the eleventh hour, proving successful.
The course in Mongolia is modelled on the postal route and system developed by Genghis Khan in the 13th century. Riders change their semi-wild horses regularly and stay with local herders or camp under the stars.
Neasham competed to a high standard in eventing in Britain before moving to Australia in 2016. She first worked for Gai Waterhouse in Sydney and now acts as racing manager to Maher, while still riding trackwork, and has been lucky enough to swing her leg over a few Group 1 winners.
Upon finishing the gruelling event in six days, facing typical Mongolian weather – monsoon rain, fog, boiling hot sun followed by cold temperatures – Neasham reflected: "People say when they finish they could easily do another 1,000km. Well, I think I’m good with this."
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