A Rotorua woman will be taking part in the Mongol Derby - a 1000km horse race in Mongolia.

Jennifer Cook is one of 36 competitors from around the world who will take part in the Mongol Derby in August.

The 1000km course recreates Chinggis Khaan's legendary postal system. Riders change horses every 40km and stay with the local herders or camp under the stars.

She says being an adventurous person she loves doing things that will challenge herself, which is why she decided to enter.


"The chance to do something like this on a horse and raise money for a charity - it was a no brainer.

"Adventure and giving back at the same time is why I really got into it."

She says you apply online and then go through a selection process.

This process includes finding out about your riding history, making sure your competitive nature is not going to stop you from helping others if needed, and showing you have a fair amount of outdoor background - with the likes of navigation and river crossings involved in the event, she says.

Jennifer says she loves meeting people from other countries and is looking forward to meeting the locals in Mongolia, as well as the other riders taking part.

She also loves photography and is hoping to get some great photos of the spectacular scenery in Mongolia.

She will be fundraising for the New Zealand Blind Foundation.

"I think they do some incredible stuff."

She says she is an animal lover and there are a few people she sees around town with their guide dogs.

Jennifer says she knows there are a lot of assistance dogs who change people's lives.

As well as raising money for charity, the riders also raise money for Cool Earth.

Cool Earth works alongside indigenous villages, putting local people back in control with the resources they need to keep their rainforest intact.

She thinks physically the Mongol Derby is going to be hard, with the soreness from being on a horse for 10 hours each day and moving faster than a walk.

Jennifer grew up in Otago and her mother worked at the local Riding for Disabled, where Jennifer started helping out and her horse-riding carried on from there.

She says she is quite a competitive person and she loves getting on the horse, going fast, doing big jumps and challenging herself.