Horse Racing in Mangolia: Novel Sport in Northwestern Asia and How It Is Conducted., Daily Racing Form, 1921-04-29


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HORSE RACING IN MONGOLIA Novel Sport in Northwestern Asia and How It Is Conducted As is only natural among such confirmed horse lovers races are a popular amusement in Mon ¬ golia But races on the steppes are conducted quite differently from ours Even the preliminary training of the entries seems topsyturvy to u Each competing pony is tied to a rope picketed on the grass plain This rope is shortened every day by a certain number of inches thus reducing the circle in which the animal can graze Yet strange as it may seem this method of gradual starvation tested by centuries appears to increasu rather than diminish its endurance enduranceOn On the day of the race fetlocks are clipped and manes and tails tightly plaited with varicolored ribbons so as to offer as little windresistance as possible The Jockeys are children and it is not unusual to see lads of nine or ten start on the exhausting stampede which a Mongol race really is isNo No saddles are allowed but each rider is given a heavy whip and a handkerchief With the latter he leans over and wipes the dust from the eyes and nostrils of his mount as otherwise the dust of the steppe might injure wind or eyesight eyesightThe The straight course is so long that often there is a good deal of difference in time between the arrival of the ponies poniesEnthusiastic Enthusiastic owners or spectators including bishops and archbishops of the Lamaist faith for the church does not frown on racing on the plains gallop out to meet the contestants and assist iu whipping them in But sometimes two favorites arrive at the finish literally leaning against each other shoulder to shoulder Thus they support each other on the run though both are so exhausted that if they were suddenly separated they would drop in their tracks tracksWonderful Wonderful tales are told of the distances covered by famous Mongol racers at a stretch Fifty even a hundred miles at full gallop are claimed This is doubtless exaggeration but fifteen and twenty mile races at great speed are well authenticated authenticatedAfter After the meeting the crowd usually adjourns to some neighboring monastery where a festival in honor of the day is held heldIn In Mongolia monasteries are the great centers of amusement interest culture and wickedness

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