Uma-harase horse racing revived after 70 years

<em>Uma-harase</em> horse racing revived after 70 years

In the afternoon of March 2, at the Okinawa Kodomo no Kuni, Okinawa City, riders in festive uniforms made of Chibana hana-ui textiles participated in the Okinawan horse racing uma-harase, which was revived for the first time in 70 years.

March 3, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

On March 2, at the Water and Green Square in the Okinawa Kodomo no Kuni, Zoo & Museum in Okinawa City, the zoo and the Ryukyu Shimpo held an event for Okinawan traditional horse racing known as uma-harase.

Many spectators cheered when the cute horses ran gracefully around the course. Nineteen horses took part in the race, the first of its kind in 70 years. Before the war, uma-harase races were held in festivals in many districts of Okinawa. They competed on the style of the performance and the pace in running parallel one-to-one at the amble, without competing in terms of speed at the gallop. The jockeys appeared wearing festive uniforms made of the same type of Chibana hana-ui textiles as worn in the past. A pony called Brownie, which belongs to the Okinawa AMICUS International equestrian team, won the race. The next such event will be held in the same venue at 1:30pm on March 10.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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