101 East

Mongolia: Born To Ride

In Mongolia, child jockeys are dying and suffering painful injuries in some of the world’s longest horse races.

Mongolia’s horse races are long, fast and furious.

And their riders are incredibly young.

Five-year-old Babu is excited to join the ranks of 30,000 other child jockeys who take part in races across the country. He’s been training for months for his debut.

The law requires jockeys to be at least seven years old and wear safety equipment. But in rural areas, this is rarely enforced. 

And it comes at a cost. When the children fall, they suffer painful injuries and sometimes, even death.

101 East investigates whether Mongolia’s child jockeys are being exploited in the name of tradition.