Originally Posted by grayshell38
I really hope that it is some other "Mongol Derby" than what I am thinking of- The Mongol Derby
This appears to be the one, but I am not sure why is race is so condemned. Fresh horses are used for every leg of the race (24 stages in all I think) with rigourous vet checks at every stage to ensure their health. Riders are penalized heavily if their horses come in with a heart rate too high, or if they are in any distress. Pacing to keep the horses healthy and sound seems to be a significant part of the race. Riders will get off periodically and lead their horses to give them a break and bring their heart rates down for inspection.
The steppe horses are much smaller than I am used to seeing adults ride, but they appear to be quite sturdy. Many were not in great athletic condition, but they werent pasture puffs either. Many we're not well broke, at least to European ways of riding, which created challenge for the riders in the race. The Mongollians did not seem to have any problem riding these horses. Clearly they have a different style of rising and horsemanship.
From what little I saw of this race, it didnt seem so terrible. I have certainly seen much worse in North American horse racing.
Maybe I missed something and someone else can enlighten me?