British Columbia

Wild horses carry Langley lawyer across finish line of the 2016 Mongol Derby

A co-winner of one of the most grueling horse races in the world — where participants ride multiple semi-wild horses 1,000 kilometres across Mongolia — is a lawyer from Langley.

'The adrenaline rush somehow makes you extremely brave or stupid'

Heidi Telstad — one of the winners of the 2016 Mongol Derby — is a lawyer from Langley. The 1,000 kilometre horse race is a ride across Mongolia. (Richard Dunwoody/Mongol Derby)

Heidi Telstad, a Langley lawyer, was recovering from a broken rib and punctured lung after her horse stepped on her.

Bored, Telstad wanted to do something "extreme".

The 43-year-old found the Mongol Derby — a grueling 1,000 kilometer endurance horse race across Mongolia using semi-wild horses.

"The adrenaline rush somehow makes you extremely brave or stupid," she laughed. "It definitely feels good!"

Telstad spoke to The Early Edition from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia about riding in the race.

"Just before I started the race, I was really nervous, and my confidence was really shot," she said. "But once I got on the horses, it was exciting. I think I was the happiest I had ever been. I think my jaw was hurting from smiling so much."

Heidi Telstad used multiple semi-wild horses during the 1,000 kilometre race. (Richard Dunwoody/Mongol Derby)

Riders in the endurance race — the longest horse race in the world — use multiple semi-wild horses to travel across Mongolia's steppes, mountain passesand desert landscapes.

"They're just semi-wild, you can barely handle them, catch them, put a saddle on them. A couple of horses — it would take three herders to hold it down just to put it down to put a saddle on."

Telstad said she was very lucky that she didn't get injured, adding that up to 17 riders dropped out of the race due to severe injuries.

However, Telstad did not just complete the race, but crossed the finish line in first place with two other co-winners: Will Comiskey, 28, 'Dingo', a cattle rancher from Australia, and Marcia Hefker-Miles, 45, from New Mexico.

Will Comiskey from Australia, Marcia Hefker-Miles from New Mexico and Heidi Telstad crossed the finish line, arms together, to take a triple dead heat in the 2016 Mongol Derby. (Richard Dunwoody/Mongol Derby)

"To be able to cross the finish line with these two amazing people, I couldn't have asked for anything more. I don't think the win would have been as sweet by myself."

Telstad also used the race as an opportunity to fundraise for the B.C. Epilepsy Society, and she said she has raised $2,800 so far.

"It was an amazing ride, that's for sure."

With files from The Early Edition


To listen to the audio, click on the link labelled Heidi Telstad, one of the winners of the 2016 Mongol Derby

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.