Friday, May 13, 2016

Equestrian Adventures: Dartmoor Derby

Starting a new series on my blog where I look at Equestrian Adventure Destinations. As I am developing my career I see a beneficial opportunity for study abroad, internships, and adventures. While this place specifically is more an adventure place, I do believe all travel is beneficial to learning. I came across this freaking awesome adventure by looking into study abroad experiences and while I also want to share those on here, this is a more open opportunity for everyone.

This article popped up on my google search about a first time derby to take place in Dartmoor based off of the Mongol Derby. The Mongol Derby, located close northern China, attempts to recreate the postal system developed by Ghengis Khan. The race is 1000 km (~621 miles) where you switch horses every 40 km (~25 miles). The race lasts ten days and costs around $12,200 dollars. It is unclear whether or not this includes food/lodging. They round up around 14,000 Mongolian ponies for the race. Reading anecdotes, it appears that while the horses are "trained" they are very green and need experienced riders. While this sounds absolutely exhilarating (tbh just added to my bucket list) it is also pricey.

The Dartmoor Derby , hosted by Liberty Trails, appears to be a more tame version of this. Dartmoor is located in Devon, England (southwest England). The terrain (I would assume) is definitely different than Mongolia. This area is very scenic and inspired Steven Spielberg's award winning movie War Horse. The duration is only 3-4 days as well compared to 10. Instead of being a race, the event is centered around an enjoyable romp through the English countryside. However, all riders are recommended to be fully experienced and comfortable in all gaits; this certainly isn't for Joe Tourist who has ridden on the beach in Coasta Rica in flip flops and board shorts.

This event also allows you to bring your own horse to the event or hire a pony trained for the event. While there is a demand to finish each day's ~24 miles before the sun sets, this isn't a competition. You travel in groups and have the option of "glamping" or staying in a luxury hotel at night. Food is provided as well as full medical and veterinary support. The price also suggests a luxury excursion (or at-least it should, ha!). With the option of bringing your own horse or camping versus hotels, the cost ranges from $1,800 - $4,300.

While plane fair will be expensive, it seems like a fun equestrian excursion that doesn't seem too far fetched.


  1. i can never decide if i would absolutely love one of these adventures, or hate it. let's be honest tho, it would probably be awesome lol

  2. I kinda want to do it except the expense lol