Jocelyn will be tackling her biggest adventure yet in August 2018.
The challenge: completing a 620-mile race on semi-wild horses across Mongolia … without getting seriously injured. Known as the toughest and longest horse race in the world, the Mongol Derby is inspired by the “pony express” system created under Genghis Khan in 1224, which was instrumental in the expansion of the Mongolian Empire.
There is no trail or marked course, but riders must hit 25 horse stations/checkpoints over 7-10 days, using their own navigation. Riders can only carry 11 pounds of gear and rely on local herders for food and shelter or camp out alone under the stars.
Hundreds of hopefuls apply to compete in the race but only 40 international competitors are selected. Historically, half complete the race. To stand a chance of finishing, riders must balance survival skills and horsemanship, preparing to endure harsh weather conditions, headstrong horses and unforeseen challenges.
Wait … why is she doing this?Jocelyn has followed the derby every year since first reading about it in Outside magazine in 2013 and has always kept it in the back of her mind as a true adventure to undertake one day.
She’s always stricken with a severe case of wanderlust and thrives on finding the next adventure to plan. With the added horse component, the Derby is the most epic challenge and journey she can think of. Immersing herself in one of the last surviving nomadic cultures on the planet, especially one with such a connection to and dependence on horse seems like an incredibly unique and special experience.
Most importantly, each Derby competitor's entry fee helps gives back to Mongolian families who help make the race possible and the official race charity, Cool Earth, works in partnership with indigenous communities to end rainforest destruction.
The Derby’s effort to foster an understanding of the importance of protecting and preserving wild places like Mongolia is of high importance to Jocelyn. Contributing to the Cool Earth’s mission of stopping deforestation gives the adventure even more meaning
Plus, with her previous USPS mail carrier experience, she’s pretty much a shoe-in … this whole pony express thing should be a breeze … right?
Why Jocelyn needs your help:
The race is expensive! Though a true once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the race is not without costs.
The $12,995 entry fee goes toward:
The Horses-Riders compete on 25-27 different horses, plus 3 for training, and need the assistance of 150 nomadic herders
The Support-A team of vets, a team of medics, and a race crew (to ensure the race is run fairly and smoothly)
Pre-race Training-Three days of medical briefing, veterinary briefing, technical training, and riding practice, both on the steppe and in the classroom.
Jocelyn is asking for $16,000 to help cover some of the other costs she will likely incur: flight ($1,800?), additional medical insurance (and after-the-fact medical bills depending on how things go…), travel insurance, training and gear, etc. etc.
Funds raised beyond travel expenses will be donated evenly between The Cool Earth and the Brooke .
Gifts for Donors as a Thank You for Your Generous Support:
Any donation: Jocelyn’s eternal gratitude and updates on pre-race training and prep, and the Mongol Derby aftermath!
Donation of $50 or more: Jocelyn’s eternal gratitude and freshly baked cookies made by Jocelyn herself
Donation of $200 or more: Jocelyn’s eternal gratitude, freshly baked cookies and Mongol Derby t-shirt.
Want more customized derby swag? Check out Jocelyn’s Mongol Derby website and shop.