In 2016 Sheikh Fahad led a six-strong Qatar Racing team on their stiffest challenge yet, the Mongol Derby, riding semi-wild Mongolian ponies over 1000 km across some of the harshest and also most beautiful countryside in the world.
Raising money for the Injured Jockeys’ Fund and Irish Injured Jockeys’ Fund, Sheikh Fahad was joined by his racing and bloodstock manager, David Redvers, his Irish racing representative, Peter Molony, Qatar Racing’s international representative Kevin Darley, and Gareth Jones and Chips Broughton, two long-standing friends of David Redvers, both with military backgrounds.
The six members of the Qatar Racing team were among forty-two riders who started the Mongol Derby. Less than half would complete the grueling event and, in the end, only three of the Qatar Racing team made it to the finish line. David Redvers was the first of the team home, finishing seventh, eight days after starting. A day later, he was joined by Peter Molony and Gareth Jones.
Sheikh Fahad was forced to retire due to a back injury after completing 500 km of the race. Afterwards he said: "It was an experience I’ll never forget. We had some pretty bad weather, they said worse than usual, and there were some tough times, but it was amazing countryside and a wonderful thing to be a part of.
"If you had told me two years I ago I would be riding wild, virtually unbroken Mongolian ponies across plains and mountains for 500km and sleeping on the ground I would not have believed you. Everybody fell off more than once and I would have carried on if I could. But we had an amazing time and we have raised money for two great charities.”
David Redvers’ blog on his Mongol Derby experience called ‘My Greatest Adventure’ can be read here: http://qatarracingltd.com/mongol-derby-blog/my-greatest-adventure/