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70-year-old American oldest winner of 'longest horse race in the world'

JESSE CONVERTINO
70-year-old American oldest winner of 'longest horse race in the world'

70-year-old American oldest winner of 'longest horse race in the world' originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

A 70-year-old American man has become the oldest person to win a Mongolian horse race that the Guiness Book of World Records lists as the world's longest multi-horse race in the world.

The 1,000 kilometer (621-mile) Mongol Derby draws competitors from around the world to participate in what the event claims is the “world’s toughest horse race” -- a grueling 10-day journey across the vast, green Mongol steppe.

(MORE: Mongolia gifts horse to President Trump's son)

Every 20-to-40 kilometers, riders mount a fresh, semi-wild horse, of which there were more than 1,300 on hand -- and are about as likely to be thrown to the ground by a bucking horse than to begin the next leg of the race.

PHOTO: Robert Long, known by the nickname Cowboy Bob, who is the oldest winner of Mongol Derby, the 1,000 km world's longest horse race, is pictured with his horse near Jargalt, Mongolia, Aug. 14, 2019. (The Adventurists/Mongol Derby/Sarah Farnsworth via Reuters)

None of that was enough to deter 70-year-old Robert Long of Idaho, who was declared the winner on Aug. 15.

“It was a rush. It was good, good,” said Long -- affectionately known as “Cowboy Bob” -- shortly after finishing the final leg.

(MORE: Mongol Derby: Extreme Adventurers Test Their Limits)

The derby itself, organized by British-based exploration and extreme sporting group the Adventurists, is an annual race that's meant to recreate Mongolia’s legendary “Yam” system, which Genghis Khan set up n the early 1200s as one of the first long-distance postal transmission systems.

PHOTO: Robert Long, known by the nickname Cowboy Bob, who is the oldest winner of Mongol Derby, the 1,000 km world's longest horse race, sits on his horse near Jargalt, Mongolia, Aug. 14, 2019. (The Adventurists/Mongol Derby/Sarah Farnsworth via Reuters)

Forty-four equestrian competitors participated in the event, which $13,000 to compete.

“Age is a number,” Long said of his victory. “That’s all.”

Upon finishing, Long downed a traditional Mongolian milk drink in celebration.