1998-04-27: Horse Barrel Racing Comes To Jhelom
A new type of sporting event has come to the land, as horse barrel riding makes its debut in Britainnia. The weekend competition took place in the fair city of Jhelom in the not often used Jhelom Dueling Pit. Willio the farmboy of the city of Britain ran the event.
Town Cryer readers will remember that Willio has sponsored cow-tipping trips and runs a racetrack from time to time in the farmlands west of the city of Britain. Willio has also somehow mastered magic that allows him to travel between the shards of Britainnia, bringing his animal competitions to many.
“I’m not really sure how this barrel riding came about," said Willio the farmboy, "I was just riding me horse one day around and around some old barrels we had around the farms, and it hit me that we might make a contest out of it.”
Riders were called from across the land by the town criers. The riders were more than welcome to bring their own horses, but owning a horse was not a requirement to this event, as there were some extra horses around for those who haven’t yet been able to purchase their own steed.
“The good people of Jhelom were kind enough to donate two horses for those who didn’t have them," said Willio, "and they were also kind enough to let us use the dueling pit as the area to host the event. Britain sees so much activity what with being the capital and all, that I thought it might be good to take my contests to other parts of the land. I was so pleased that people made the trip all the way to Jhelom to race.”
The rules of the contest are quite simple, one simply has to ride around three barrels arranged in a triangular pattern. It can be a little tricky at first to get the exact riding pattern down, but all those who rode quickly mastered the path.
Riders start from a wooden gate at the western end of the put, and then travel twice around all three barrels, racing back into the gate to stop the timer. Racers ride one at a time against the clock, rather than against each other, and the riders place is determined by their time as compared to the other riders.
For prizes, a gold purse was divided amongst the top five contestants. Winners also got sashes with unique inscriptions on them noting their rank in the competition. “We’ll have to do this again sometime," said Willio, "’Twas quite a lot of fun. Between this and the horse racing in Britain, I’m having quite a grand time with these competitions.”
Three of the horse barrel racing competitors are shown below, proudly wearing their newly-awarded sashes.
Pictured from left to right are: Lord Allistah, Lord Shakar, and Louve, the fourth place, second place, and third place finalists respectively.