Bizarre Oxen racing, like sking on ground behind beasts
Thu, 28 Jun 2012 2:45p.m.
A 'sport' definitely not for the faint hearted....
Hardy riders stand on a wooden platform and are dragged along a dusty course by a pair of oxen, with cash prizes on offer to the owners of the winning cattle.
Crowds turned out on Tuesday in Bagga Sheikhain to watch oxen racing which is held as part of a three day festival in Pakistan's Punjab province. The event has been going on for more than 50 years.
Oxen racing remains popular in rural areas due to its thrilling and aggressive nature. It also shows the pride farmers have for their animals and the courage and bravery of the jockey, who are mostly the owners of the bulls.
Wave a red flag at bull and naturally they're off. The jockey keeps a tight grip of the reins as he is dragged along on a wooden platform. Failure to do so can result in more than just bruises.
The jockeys use sticks and continual shouts to try and keep their mounts heading for the finishing line some 200 metres away.
The oxen must be steered between two polls which are spaced ten metres apart.
If the oxen fail to finish between the polls or unseat their jockey they are disqualified.
To the victor the spoils and for the vanquished, hopefully nothing more than hurt pride.
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30/06/2012 10:03:29 a.m.
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