A friendship dating back to their years together at St John’s Primary School in Dennington has led to respected Wangaratta horse breaker-trainer Adrian Corboy winning the Mongol Derby on Wednesday.
An untimely injury to Winslow-raised Ciaron Maher led to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Corboy to combine with Maher’s bloodstock manager Annabel Neasham to win the longest and toughest equestrian endurance horse race in the world.
Maher, who broke his right leg in a trackwork accident last month, said he was over the moon with the performances.
“It’s an incredible effort by both of them,” he said.
“I phoned Adrian from my hospital bed only a few days before the event to replace me for the ride.
“Adrian is a great horseman. He had to lose a bit of weight. Adrian and Annabel had little time to get the hang of a GPS device because there is no course for the1000km ride which is through Mongolian steppe and up-and-down hills on semi-wild horses.
“They were each riding up to 13 hours a day for the past 10 days. They had to change steeds every 40 kilometres.
“It really is an incredible performance of endurance and commitment by both of them. From what I’ve heard, they have both lost a bit of weight competing in the event but that’s to be expectedriding in such gruelling tough conditions on such unrelenting terrain.”
The Caulfield Cup-winning trainer said he was unsure if he would ride in next year’s Mongol Derby.
“It’s going to take a lot to top the performances of Adrian and Annabel,” he said. “They have been sensational in their own personal endeavours but on a wider scale we’ve received great sponsorship support from sponsors like PointsBet and we’ll be making a donation to the Peter McCallum cancer foundation.”
Corboy breaks in yearlings for the Maher stable which sees them keep in constant contact.