Monday, April 20, 2009

Horse racing

    Horse racing is part of Naadam, a festival organized every July in Mongolia to celebrate the People’s Revolution. Using children as jockeys in such races has a centuries-long tradition. Boys and girls as young as 5 (although the law imposes a minimum age limit of 7) ride in races that can be dangerous, with hundreds of horses running across the steppe at distances of 12 to 28 kilometres at great speeds. In preparing for Naadam, children take part in repeated practice races and help the trainers take care of the race horses. According to some estimates, 150,000-180,000 horses compete in 500 races each year in which more than 30,000 child jockeys are engaged. The pictures were taken in Baganuur.
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