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Tuesday, 5th May 2009
In Events In Japan,

Wild horse racing in Japan

Holidaymakers visiting Japan in July will be able to witness a tenth-century spectacle in Soma City.

The annual festival features wild horse racing over a period of three days and sees samurai horsemen battling it out with traditional armour and weapons.

As well as a race covering 1,000 metres, there is another event which sees hundreds of horsemen competing for dozens of flags fired into the air by fireworks.

Opening ceremonies are held at shrines in Ota, Odaka and Nakamura.

Events also taking place include a ritual at the Odaka temple in which men dressed all in white capture horses bare-handed.

Next month will see the Yasuda Kinen Horse Race take place at the Tokyo Racecourse.

All of the horses entered into the race, which represents the last leg of the Asian Mile Challenge, are over three years old.

As usual, tens of thousands of racing fans are expected to turn out for what is one of the highlights of the equine calendar.

Written by Mike Cotgreave

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