Draft horses, dragging heavy loads, being exercised last week at the racetrack in Obihiro
A Horse-Racing Tradition Lumbers Into Its Final Stretch
New York Times, December 25, 2006 / OBIHIRO, Japan— It was one of the last contests of the day at the draft-horse racetrack in this rural corner of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island. The spotlights glimmered in the snow-streaked evening sky as the gamblers, who had been inside huddling around strategically placed portable kerosene heaters, took their spots alongside the track.…more…
Japanese draft horse racing may be fading but thoroughbred horseracing and offtrack betting still holds many older men’s wistful dreams in Japan. The Japanese thoroughbred superstar, “Deep Impact,” retired on the 24th, winning his final race. Despite his drug scandal after the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last October, (Wiki ref.), it has been ages since any Japanese horse could run this fast this long. Deep Impact will still be in the money as a stud but the 4-year-old failed to give Japanese horse racing the respect Japan it has long been hoping for—Maybe draft horses are the answer?