Middleburg woman trains to compete in Mongol Derby

The Mongol Derby is one of the most difficult horse races in the world

Middleburg resident Abbi Bell is tackling one of the most challenging horse races in the world in the Mongol Derby

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – A local woman is going to compete in one of the most difficult horse races in the world.

Abbi Bell is a Middleburg resident and has been riding since she was 5. But she’s never attempted anything like the Mongol Derby

Now, she is preparing to take on the race in Mongolia that recreates Genghis Khan's mail postal system routes.

Bell says that "He was the first to have an official mail route. They could move letters from point A to point B in messages in absolutely no time. The race recreates it with a different route every year just to keep it changed up."

Riders will ride for 13 hours a day for up to 10 days. Competitors are alone in the Mongolian wilderness and are tasked with riding on semi-feral Mongolian horses. Over the course of the race, there are 25 stations. At each station, riders select a horse for the next leg of the race.

Many competitors have been injured during the race but Bell says she is most worried about the food. 

"I don't do goat and, I don't do sheep,” she said. “That is all they feed you over there. I am not scared of the travel or the people I am scared of the food."

News4Jax will have more on Abbi Bell as the Mongol Derby approaches. 

About the Author:

Jamal St. Cyr is an award-winning sports anchor who joined the News4Jax sports team in 2019.