Waikato man gears up for the 1,000km Mongol Derby, the world's longest and toughest horse race

It's "one hell of a ride" but Waikato horse rider Eion Kemp says he's looking forward to competing in the world's longest and toughest horse race, the Mongol Derby.

It's raced over 1000 kilometres of some of the world's most gruelling terrain in Mongolia in August.

TVNZ1's Seven Sharp found Eion Kemp breaking in yearlings and two-year-olds at a farm at Matamata before they go on to a trainer.

In much the same way, Mr Kemp is about to be broken in, in the biggest riding challenge of his career.

"The Mongol Derby. The world's longest and toughest horse race. It's raced over 1000 kilometres through the steppes of Mongolia," he said.

Riders have been told to expect temperatures to be anything from minus five to plus 35 degrees for the race over mountain passes, flats and rivers.

"Although I ride every day, probably 25 to 30 kilometres, I can't conceive doing 1000 kilometres," Mr Kemp said.

As for the horses, the 45 competing riders change mounts every 40 kilometres.

"You get into a station and there's a line-up of horses. You walk down the line and basically look for your next horse," he explained.

Seven Sharp reminded Mr Kemp that he doesn't have to ride in the Mongol Derby, but there was no holding him back.

"Yes I do, I do. It's that simple," he said.

Eion Kemp is gearing up for the Mongol Derby in August. Source: Seven Sharp


Watch: Take a sneak peek inside Auckland Museum's Secret World of Butterflies exhibition

Auckland Museum's Secret World of Butterflies exhibition begins today and will be displaying around 6000 butterflies.

But what do we really know about the secret world of butterflies?

TVNZ1's Seven Sharp sent reporter Tamati Rimene-Sproat to Auckland Museum to find out in the video above.

Reporter Tamati Rimene-Sproat went to Auckland Museum for a look. Source: Seven Sharp


'Item of concern' at Te Papa loading dock forces cancellation of Wellington Girls' College ball

The Wellington Girls' College ball at Te Papa tonight has been called off after what police describe as "an item of concern" was located in a loading dock at the national museum this evening.

Police have told 1 NEWS the incident has been resolved and cordons have been stood down.

The item of concern was found to not be a safety risk but Police inquiries will continue.

Te Papa management initiated an evacuation of the area as a precaution and specialist police teams are in attendance assessing the situation.

Students arriving at the entrance to Te Papa on the Wellington waterfront for the ball were told it would not be taking place.

Te Papa in Wellington

They were taken to the nearby Wharewaka before going home.

A police van parked at Te Papa where officers were alerted to a suspicious item in a loading dock. Source: 1 NEWS