Racing in Indonesia

Horse racing tradition stretches back for centuries in Indonesia. It used to be a pastime in which families would race their ponies against one another for sport; now it’s an industry in which wealthy horse owners pay the child jockeys to ride for them. The horses are a cross between local Sumbawan ponies and larger, faster imports from Europe and Australia. Young boys begin training to ride them as early as 4 years old, and may ride races at 5. The horses are ridden bareback and the riders are barefoot with a small helmet and a balaclava to keep out the dust. Owners may pay anywhere from US$4-7 for a race, so in a ten-day meet a child might take home over $700.

Paulick Reportsource NY Timessource