A small town farmer has proved himself on the world stage - securing third place in the world's longest and toughest horse race this week.
Ben Wilks crossed the finish line of the The Mongolian Derby overnight on Wednesday, after 1000km and eight days, feeling invincible.
The 24 year old from Katikati was equal third alongside fellow Kiwi and close friend from Taranaki, Maxim Van Lierde, and American rider Michele Tanaka.
The race was won by Byerone Epstein from South Africa, followed, in second place, by Elise Potrinal from France. The two women chose not to stop on the seventh night and finished overnight coming into the eighth day.
A Facebook page following Mr Wilks' progress yesterday read, "Reports say that Maxim and Ben we're [sic] 3rd equal! We're so incredibly proud of you guys back here at home".
"No [tummy] bugs or [saddle] rubs. I am invincible!" he joked to his friend over Facebook yesterday.
Each rider used about 25 horses, riding each for about 40km before reaching a vet, doctor and food checkpoint and being allocated the next horse.