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January 31, 2024 3 min read

Gallagher’s Water has sponsored Mary Williams on her journey to the Gaucho Derby. The Derby takes place February 9-18, 2024.

The Gaucho Derby is a 10 day 500km multi-horse adventure race. From their website

"The mind-bending terrain in Patagonia makes this a race quite unlike anything else on the planet. It won’t just test your skill on a horse, but push you to the limit of your navigation skills, your ability to handle the wilderness and your physical endurance.

The Gaucho Derby is a multi-horse race... The race is broken down into 40km or less vetting legs but you won’t be changing horse at every section. The high mountains are a test of skill, not flat out speed, so the horses won’t run out of steam. The flatter pampas sections will see you turning up the MPH to eat up the miles."

Mary sent us this update on her way to Argentina for the race.

The minute I became aware of the Gaucho Derby, a 300-mile, multi-horse adventure race in Patagonia, Argentina, I wanted to do it! The format of the race itself combined so many of the things I have pursued and enjoyed in life. The backcountry adventure true experience combined with endurance riding through such a big, spectacular landscape had me hooked. I couldn’t imagine anything more challenging and fun!


After I applied and got accepted, the process of preparing began. Part of the preparation was getting as fit as possible, finding the best gear for this type of endeavor, and upping my endurance riding game.

Much of my life has been spent in the outdoors. I’ve worked professionally as a mountaineering guide on Mt. Rainier and, on a 14-day expedition summited Denali, in Alaska; spent years on the ski patrol at Snowbird, Utah; decades as a river guide in Grand Canyon and Idaho along with expeditions in Chile and Nepal; and currently lead mounted foxhunting trips with Kazakh eagle hunters in Mongolia.

Although I was born with the “horse gene,” horses didn’t enter my life full-time until midddle age. In preparing for this race I have spent the past ten months focusing on endurance riding.

Since being introduced to Gallagher’s Water, this hydration enhancer has become an indispensable part of every training ride and a staple at endurance events.

Mary Williams (on the right) with her training horse, Mojo.

It was 100 degrees F during an endurance race last summer and it was such a relief to know our horses were going to suck down two gallons of Gallagher’s Water at the vet stop, even before diving into some mash. We were able to get them to hydrate in the morning before the start and also post-race. Both our horses stood for Best Conditioned with one of them taking the top honor.

My trail horse loves Gallagher’s Water so much, just crinkling the bag gets him so excited to drink that he barely comes up for air. I think the saying”You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” doesn’t apply to Gallagher’s Water

Because of race weight limits, I won’t be able to take packs of Gallagher’s Water with me on my Gaucho Derby ride, but if I could I most definitely would! It has become an indispensable part of our horse’s (and therefore mine!) endurance training.

Starting Feb 8th there will be Live Race Tracking on the website at Also lots of social media starting February 5 from Gaucho Derby on Facebook and Instagram!

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