Gruver Native Competes In Mongolian Horse Race!
Local Cowboy Frank Winters applied to compete in the Mongol Derby on a whim. He never dreamed he’d actually be selected to compete. Fast forward to this week, and Frank is currently -IN- Mongolia! The Gruver, TX native is currently competing in the World’s longest (and toughest) horse race.
Frank makes his living feeding cattle in Gruver. One day last year, he was reading an article in AQHA magazine about a rider who competed in “The Mongol Derby“. The article stated that the race was in progress, and interested folks could watch it online. So, Frank went to the website to watch the race. There, he clicked a button that said “Click to Join” – thinking that it meant “To join others who are watching the race”. But… to Frank’s surprise, an application to compete popped up! Like an good ol’ cowboy, Frank Winters filled it out.
Next thing you know, Frank was on a plane bound for Mongolia! Yup. Freakin’ Mongolia, y’all.
As I said, the Mongol Derby is literally the longest horse race in the world! It’s also the toughest. The concept is to recreate sections of Ghengis Khan’s postal relay system through Mongolia. Riders change horses every 30-40 miles at “relay stations”. They navigate station-to-station with no set path. Only GPS. Mountainous terrain, desert, open plains, hills, rocks, you name it.
It’s a grueling trek. Imagine riding from Amarillo to Kansas City, MO on horseback. And then another 40 miles. As fast as you can. That’s about how it all shakes out. One day, Frank was sitting at home in Ruver, TX. Next, he’s on a plane bound for Mongolia. And he’s there right this minute! While we’re eating Taco Villa and watching Netflix, Frank is literally in the middle of nowhere.
Man, that takes some Texas-sized courage!
Our own Ag Reporter, Shannon Gray, has been tracking Frank’s progress and telling his story on our Sister Station, KGNC-AM. You really should hear HER tell the story. She knows a LOT more about it than I do!
Frank Winters will ride a total of 28 horses by the time the race is complete. In freakin’ Mongolia. Here’s there now! Click here to watch and check on his progress. Just be careful to click the right button. Otherwise, you might find yourself in Mongolia!