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

70-year-old American Robert Long wins 2019 Mongol Derby

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.