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  • Writer's pictureMenchie Kinao

Baguio artist becomes first Filipina to compete in world’s longest horse race

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

Baguio City, Philippines – Baguio-born artist has set a record as the first Filipina to compete in the world’s longest horse race earlier this month.

Solana Lim Perez has been riding horses since she was young. When a horse she held dear died, she felt as if she lost a part of herself.

She was then looking for a way to reignite her feelings when she discovered the Mongol Derby, a 10-day, 1,000-kilometer race that tests the riders’ endurance through the Mongolian Steppe.

When she signified her interest in the race in 2019, she was overwhelmed by the support she received from the community and even those from other countries. Through the fundraising events launched by her supporters, many gave financial aid she needed to join the international tilt.

Driven by determination, she trained with the members of the Kabajo Handlers Association in Camp John Hay and Wright Park Pony Boys Association.

After 4-year preparation, she competed with 41 other equestrians from all over the world from August 2 to 12. During the race, horseback riders need to change horses every 40 kilometers.

Perez gave her best and was able to finish 625 kilometers.

Despite not completing the 1,000-kilometer race, she is beyond grateful for the experience.

“It has gifted me with friendships and brief moments that effortlessly and naturally pierced my heart. More than my hydration system breaking down, more than bad luck at the horse lottery, this is the true reason I stuck to the back of the pack during the Derby,” she expressed.

“As it is, I do feel changed but I do not feel diminished. I feel loved. I will forever treasure the memories made with all the people I met. Thank you, Mongolia. Thank you for sheltering me in the warm and strong arms of your people under your Eternal Blue Sky,” she added.



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