The largest non-sanctioned endurance race ever attempted is set to be run this summer in Mongolia. Nearly a thousand under-sized native horses have been drafted into an effort which deliberately flaunts international endurance racing rules. Worse, none of the 25 amateur riders have any previous endurance riding experience and all will be riding Mongolian ponies they have never met before. No safety arrangements are provided by the promoter, no water or food for the ponies, inadequate numbers or no veterinarians - how many of the 800 equines will be dead before they reach the 1000 km line, how many more will die afterwards as a result of the abuse they will receive?
This is an atrocity. While US and other legitimate endurance riders and organizations are protesting their outrage, where is even the slightest concern from PETA? From any animal welfare organization? From any rational, reasonable government?
And if all that wasn't bad, the UK charity, Mercy Corps, has accepted money to lend their name to this race. This is what I wrote to them on their comment page:
"You should be ashamed to quote Ghandi on your pages and yet sponsor the Mongol Derby. The fact that you accepted bribe money to lend your name to this event - guaranteed to cause terrible injury and death to many, if not most of the Mongolian ponies - is enough reason to question all you do."
Of course, the comment page on the Mercy Corp website actually goes to the Mongol Derby website (http://mongolderby.theadventurists.com/index.php?page=contact), so I also emailed them using another comment page at http://www.mercycorps.org.uk/contact.php
I also emailed my legislators and asked them what can be done to stop this event. I don't care if humans want to injure or kill themselves in an extreme event, but why force animals to suffer for human folly?
More info about this killer event at http://www.thelongridersguild.com/mongolia.htm