Every Friday, Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization doing good work in the horse world. Today, we recognize the Gobi Gallop.
The Gobi Gallop kicked off today in Mongolia with ten riders departing from the capital city Ulaanbaatar to the start point outside of Tsetserleg, Arkhangai. The Gobi Gallop is the longest annual charity horseback ride in the world, covering 700 kilometers in ten days across Mongolia to raise money for Veloo Foundation’s Children of the Peak Sanctuary Project.
Unlike point-to-point races in which riders change horses at various checkpoints, riders in the Gobi Gallop must keep two horses in good condition for the entire endeavor — more like an actual endurance ride than a competitive race. The emphasis is on horse welfare and completion rather than speed and racing.
Riders will undergo a familiarization over the next day, meeting their Mongolian horses, adjusting their tack and getting familiar with the local riding techniques as well as the local culture. By ride requirement, each rider must travel a minimum of 20 kilometers in the traditional wooden Mongolian saddle, but for safety can then transition to a more comfortable modern Mongolian saddle with breakaway stirrups and toe caps. Riders are guided by Horse Trek Mongolia, which hosts the Gobi Gallop.
This year is the seventh annual ride. To date, the Gobi Gallop and the gala event held at the conclusion of the ride have raised over $450,000 USD to aid Mongolian children and families.
Full updates on the progress, weather and challenges of the ride can be found at @GobiGallop on Facebook beginning on May 31. Veloo Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 not for profit in the United States and a registered Canadian charity.
Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.