Sunday, 25 October 2009

Japan Diary - Early Morning Training

The town of Obihiro, on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, is known for its "Ban-Ei" races in which heavy horses, many of them Percherons, pull weighted sleighs over a short course with two "bumps" in it. Training starts in the dark at 4am, and the images at dawn and sunrise are quite stunning.

To my absolute surprise, one of the (few) women jockeys asked me if I wanted to try the sleigh and having sat me down on it (they stand but that was a little too much to ask of me...), handed me the reins of "Pegasus Pretty" and off we went for a long spin around the training ground!


  1. Pawesome shots!


    Pawesome woo got to do that!

    Maybe woo need some sled dogs fur your next adventure!


  2. Mum is going oooh and ahhh over the horses. She's weird though.

  3. What gorgeous pictures! Riding the sleigh must have been an amazing experience.

  4. Bonjour,
    Cory said "That's really cool"...
    My question is : Is it that cool ?
    Many of us here in France are wondering how these horses can pull these heavy sleighs, and many of us here in France think they have an answer. I'm eager to listen to your "récit de voyage".

  5. Gorgeous pictures! I'll bet it was great fun!

  6. Just beautiful. And #1 doesn't cease to impress us, she's so adventurous!

  7. Every splendid photos tell me
    you love horse. (゚・゚*

    Thanks you for showing me that
    there is such a wonderful place
    even in Japan.

  8. What fabulous pictures! the top photo is so misty and steamy and evocative! And the picture of #1 on the sleigh is great...what a wonderful adventure!

  9. Wow, that is just so wonderful - sounds like you are having such a great time. So will you be adding a Percheron to the family? We think Tommy would love it.

    Woos, the OP Pack

    Pee Ess, thanks for taking the time to stop by our blog while you are on vacation - that was so very kind.

  10. Once more, beautiful evocative photos that capture the moment perfectly! Thanks so much for sharing. That must have been awesome, riding on that sleigh.

    Your pals,

    Petey, Mica and Jane

  11. Great shots! And how fun you got to try!

  12. That is very cool! And those are great pictures - but honestly I bet riding the sleigh was the coolest part (lucky!)


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