Saturday, May. 25, 2024

Glorious Stupidity: Also Known As The Mongol Derby



I got an email last month from The Adventurists, a British company “fighting to make the world less boring,” stating: “In case you’ve already forgotten the glorious stupidity you’ve just signed up to, here’s a recap.”

An invoice for the Mongol Derby’s entry fee followed. I personally don’t usually call my clients stupid before demanding money, but what do I know? They also suggest I read the entry agreement very carefully. I don’t. After all, I got in! To the longest and toughest horse race in the world! In Mongolia! No need to regret entering!

To be fair, riding 620 miles on semi-feral horses in a foreign country over dangerous terrain does come across as rather stupid. And paying to do so? Almost as wise a business decision as buying a horse. But I’ve never been very good at making so-called “financially-responsible” decisions, so I’m certainly not going to sit here and rationalize a series of life-long irrational decisions that have led me to entering the Mongol Derby. Maybe in another blog post. However, to the parents who are reading this: It started with a pony—just saying.

Having been accepted, I now must focus on my biggest concern: food. As it turns out, Mongolians only eat goat and fermented mare’s milk mixed with blood. I realize that this is an incredibly generalized statement and probably offensive to Mongolians, but I say this in the hope that the Mongolian people will prove me wrong in 2019.  You see, I haven’t eaten meat since I was 12, and I’m mildly lactose intolerant. And while my interviewer said that I had a “very strong application,” she also forgot to ask about any dietary concerns. And I “forgot” to mention them.

However, a quick internet search explains that during the race they actually only feed you Snickers bars and goat. And surely I can survive on nothing but Snickers bars and Imodium for 7-10 days. After all, why take a dump when the toilets look like this:


Behold! The toilet/hole in the ground I have to look forward to. Photo by Stevie Delahunt.

Plus, it makes packing much more simple when your 11lb pack is just going to be 11lb of Imodium. I figure worst-case scenario I can perform self-hypnosis and eat a goat. If Kate Middleton can trick herself into thinking childbirth is just another trip to the spa, anything is possible.


And I am very prepared for the Mongol Derby for a few reasons:

1) I have never done an endurance race. You might think of this as a disadvantage. But, as I pointed out in my interview, if I had done an endurance race I probably wouldn’t be dumb enough to sign up for the Mongol Derby.

2) I foster obscene numbers of dogs (like 12 currently plus my personal three), so when I’m being chased on horseback by wild dogs I will feel right at home.

3) I always get sick while traveling, usually an illness of the bodily-cleanse variety. So I’m ready to pound some Imodium like a champion. And if that doesn’t work, then it’s a free, bonus weight-loss program. If you think of the Mongol Derby as a weight-loss program it almost makes financial sense!

Katie Hasse is professional rider and amateur dog hoarder based in Upperville, Virginia. She enjoys very short walks on the beach and hates bios. But if you like bios: Katie is an upper-level event rider and and has her USDF silver medal in addition to making appearances in the hunter/ jumper rings and foxhunting. She runs Deerfield Sport Horses, a boarding, training and sales operation, and she has a sweet spot for Thoroughbreds. She lives with her boyfriend, a Belgium Shepherd with the IQ of a 5-year-old human, and two Shih Tzus, whose parents were probably also cousins.




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