Monday, December 17, 2012

Or Perhaps You Need A Horsey

Last month, a series of horse races took place on Sumbawa Island, Indonesia, near the city of Bima. Nothing too odd about that. Horse racing's certainly taken a tumble in reputation since its heyday, because knowing the horses could easily die in the process, and often do in such events as England's Grand National (two died in this year's running, seen here; despite what you might think, the horse behind the tarp at fence 21 was not being euthanized, but one of the two fatalities, that of According To Pete, happened at the very next jump; the other was the then-riderless Synchronized at fence 11), rubs people the wrong way a lot more than it used to. But horse racing in and of itself, we realize, still takes place.

What got Reuters to take notice, though, was that there were children riding these horses. And it was an 11-day event, attracting some 600 horses, during which the kids miss school. (In fact, one child jockey interviewed for the article had missed two months of school for the event.) And that the prize was, converted into US dollars, about $100, with cows as prizes for winning preliminary groups.

There isn't really very much out there on the Bima races other than other places running this one article, and the scattered photo. There ought to be, though. After all, there's been attention placed on the UAE after a 2005 ban on child jockeys for camel racing has been defied. Hopefully, someone out Indonesia way could explore it a little further.

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