Shropshire Star

'Excited but nervous': Zoe, 26, to take on world's toughest horse race

People from all over the world apply for a place in the Mongol Derby, the world's longest and toughest horse race, and a 26 year-old from Shropshire is one of the chosen few.

Zoe Geddes from Lydbury North is taking part in The Mongol Derby - the longest and toughest horse race in the world. Pictured here with a horse she looks after called Silver

Zoe Geddes, who lives in Lydbury North in south Shropshire, never thought she'd get a place in the infamous horse race, which only has 40 places.

She said she has had to work hard for everything in her life and this will be no different, as alongside the gruelling training, Zoe must raise £11,000 to take part.

After raising two children, and coming out of a toxic relationship only this year, Zoe wanted something to set her mind to, and thought of nothing better than achieving her lifelong dream of competing in the 1,000km race on the other side of the world.

Zoe Geddes, 26, has been chosen as one of 40 people to take part in the Mongol Derby

"I came to horse riding and things quite late on as a teenager really," she said. "We had a riding school next door to where we lived and I wanted to give it a go. I moved to Lydbury North to work with horses; before I was working in a fabric shop.

"My ex-partner and I had a really up and down relationship, we broke up in May and it's all been very toxic. It was really horrible. Once I came out of that, I wanted to do something that would really change everything.

"Hundreds of people apply for the race and I never thought they would give me a place. I had to go through several interviews with people from all over the world."

Zoe said she is not a typical contestant. The high-priced ticket usually means people from richer backgrounds are able to take part, but Zoe said this won't put her off.

Zoe is fundraising to take part in the Mongol Derby. Pictured here with a horse she looks after called Silver

"I come from a poor background; my mom was a single mother, I'm a single mother," she said.

"I think they were quite impressed with that though. I have been contacting a lot of different companies for sponsorship and have also set up a crowdfunder. All my friends and family have been helping me raise money.

"It will be really good for me to do it, now I finally have the opportunity.

"You go over there around four days before for basic training, map training and working GPS. They are semi-feral horses you ride, there are a team of Mongolians who chuck you on a horse and you just have to go. There are stories of people being chased by wild dogs.

"I am excited to explore the culture really, but obviously slightly nervous of surviving in the wild."

Zoe said she is competitive, and after waiting her whole life to take part, she is definitely going to try to win.

You can donate to her fundraiser at