Redvers hoping IJF benefits from his achievement
David Redvers, who completed the 1,000km Mongol Derby this week, is hoping the Injured Jockeys’ Fund will benefit greatly from his achievement.
The racing and bloodstock manager to Qatar Racing was at the finishing line late on Friday morning to welcome back teammate Peter Molony in joint 11th place, four positions behind Redvers, who finished seventh.
Fourteen of the 43 contestants, including Qatar Racing’s Sheikh Fahad Al Thani and Kevin Darley, had to drop out of the world’s toughest and longest race at various stages owing to injury and dehydration respectively, but Redvers rose to the challenge.
“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life, although I don’t think poor Kevin will agree!” he said.
“I’ve no ideal how much I’ve raised for the Injured Jockeys’ Fund – it’s still being totted up – but I sincerely hope it will provide a huge help.”
In addition to applauding the efforts of all of his fellow contestants –whether or not they completed the course – Redvers paid tribute to the ponies.
“To survive out here you have got to be as tough as nails,” he said. “They have hearts like lions and gallop like fury.
“It’s the most exhilarating experience to ride an out-of-control pony who is galloping flat out while a golden eagle is flying over the top. It’s just incredible.”
The Mongol Derby is renowned for providing the toughest of physical challenges, and Redvers added: “I’ve lost over two stone during the last eight days. My trousers fell off when I ran to the toilet this morning, but I can’t tell you how good this experience has been for the soul. It has been the most magical, magnificent experience.
“Riding out here is like riding in a different millennium. Mongolia is the most beautiful place on the planet. Everything is untouched.
“People open their doors and welcome you as if you were members of their family. Where you get the greatest poverty you get the greatest generosity.
“I’ve suffered horribly in physical terms, but the highs go way beyond that. I’ve made new best friends, and those close bonds will remain forever. It’s been fantastic.”
Gareth Jones, another member of Team Qatar, crossed the finishing line on Friday in joint-15th place.