Deirdre Griffith (USA) and Willemien Jooste (SA) crossed the finish line of the 2022 Mongol Derby two days ago as unplanned partners. The two riders hadn’t anticipated riding together, but had unexpectedly met up to ride out to camp on Day 2 of the race, and never turned back.
I had a chance to talk with both riders to hear about their experience, the highs and the lows of the Derby, key takeaways, and helpful tips for future participants. A big thank you to Erik Cooper of The Equestrianists for connecting us.
Both Deirdre and Willemien immediately expressed their gratitude of having the partnership to support them through the race. “It’s helpful to have another person to help navigate and make decisions, but also to keep you smiling, to keep that optimism,” Willemien stated. Deirdre shared similar sentiments, expressing “It would have been hard to do alone. And the horses go better when they’re together.”
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Article written by: Gillian Warner