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   xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Oct 18 01:02 AM

Oct 18, 2009: Banei

Banei is a breed of horse, draft (drought) horse, in Japan.
They aren't used much in agriculture anymore, but they do race them.
They race on flat tracks, with jockeys, in age classes, like thoroughbreds, but more interesting to me, albeit slower, pulling sledges.

photo from Boston dot com's, The Big Picture

In Japan horse meat is sold on the meat market where it is considered a gourmet food item and can sell for as much as 500 Francs per kilo. Another activity involving draught horses is sledge racing. The race course is 250 metres long and 5 lanes wide. It is not flat, the teams must negotiate two humps during the race. The sledges weigh 300 kilos empty, but for the races they are loaded to a total weight of between 700 kilos and 1 tonne. The events are well attended because a betting circle operates at the track. link
Losers get eaten, I guess, unlike the dating world.

Draft-horse racing, called Banei Keiba in Japanese, only exists in Obihiro City, Hokkaido, an island located in the north of Japan. Draft horses are twice as big as thoroughbreds and drag more than 1,000 pounds of sleighs along the 218-yard dirt course during a race. This unique horse racing started about a hundred years ago while the horses were primarily used for farming. Over years, producers developed the draft horses exclusively for races. Today, about 10,000 individuals are involved in the draft-horse racing industry. However, changes in people’s leisure time activities and decline in the population in the surrounding towns almost led draft-horse racing to close its history. However, the large oppositions from fans saved the draft-horse racing, although its future is still uncertain. All the photographs were taken in March 2007. link
Today's Banei were developed from Percheron, Breton, and Belgian horses from Europe, because the traditional Jap horses were considerably smaller.

More pictures on flickr.

Eclipse  Sunday Oct 18 03:38 AM

Looks really tiring for the horses -- they even stop several times along the way. At least I'm guessing that's from exhaustion. Lactic acid can't be good for the taste

SPUCK  Sunday Oct 18 05:55 AM

Completely solves the retired greyhound problem.

Oh, the race has started! I'm gonna go get a burger. I'll be back before it's over.

capnhowdy  Sunday Oct 18 09:56 AM


Dale Earnhardt reincarnated. But it looks like Robbie Gordon is a little aHEAD.

Cloud  Sunday Oct 18 11:11 PM

I don't get the sled part

xoxoxoBruce  Monday Oct 19 04:47 AM

They're draft horses, Cloud.

SPUCK  Monday Oct 19 05:18 AM

Yeah but doesn't that mean they're supposed to go really fast and close?

spudcon  Monday Oct 19 09:59 AM

Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
They're draft horses, Cloud.
Do they come in a bottle too?

Spexxvet  Monday Oct 19 10:03 AM

The call sounded like it was done by a Japanese Ben Stein. Bueller? Bueller?

Cloud  Monday Oct 19 10:12 AM

sure, but what's wrong with a regular cart? Did the races develop on ice or something?

Coign  Monday Oct 19 11:05 AM

I would guess it would be a sled to emulate the farm horses pulling a plow through a field.

Cloud  Monday Oct 19 11:23 AM

okay, that makes sense.

I wonder if you could snowboard behind one of those things. Like waterskiing, sort of.

xoxoxoBruce  Monday Oct 19 12:13 PM

Draft horses are about power, not speed.

lawman  Monday Oct 19 07:56 PM

That video sure showed an exciting race....not. The one jockey sure was whipping the crap out of his horse.

Griff  Monday Oct 19 09:41 PM

Pony pulls used to be a big deal around here.

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Oct 20 01:00 AM

Big ponies.

SPUCK  Tuesday Oct 20 05:58 AM

Dems not ponies, they're Belgian Draft Hores.

Griff  Tuesday Oct 20 06:22 AM

Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Big ponies.
I believe they have height (54" at the shoulder?) and weight limits for what constitutes a pony on the pulling circuit. My Dad's cousin used to do it and still has some animals which don't look terribly pony-like.

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Oct 20 10:59 AM


Whole Oats
Wheat Bran

Gravdigr  Saturday Oct 24 06:22 AM

Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post

Whole Oats
Wheat Bran
HGH = Horse Growth Hormone

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