How-Slow-Can-You-Go Horse Racing in Hokkaido

How-Slow-Can-You-Go Horse Racing in Hokkaido


– [Narrator] In most of the world, horseracing is a fast-paced,
head-spinning event. But here on Japan’s
northernmost island, Hokkaido, the races move … (quirky music) A little bit slower. (quirky music) Ban’ei is a form of horseracing
found only in Hokkaido in which draft horses pull heavy sleds down a 200 meter dirt track. The sleds can range from
900 to 2,000 pounds, so Ban’ei horses are often twice as big as their speedy counterparts. (quirky music) Kikuchi Kazuki has been a Ban’ei jockey for the past nine years. But the history of this
race goes back much further. – [Narrator] The popularity
of the races grew, and starting in the 1950s
there were four cities hosting races across Hokkaido. However, in recent years
interest has waned. And today the races are
only held at this racetrack. But that didn’t stop Kikuchi. – [Narrator] Pulling one-ton
sleds is no easy task. But these draft horses
race only every two weeks. And in-between, they’re
well taken care of. – [Narrator] And for
first time spectators, seeing Ban’ei horses
can be a bit of a shock. – [Narrator] There have been
signs that Ban’ei racing may be regaining popularity. Either way, Kakuchi is happy
to be part of this tradition.

93 thoughts on “How-Slow-Can-You-Go Horse Racing in Hokkaido

  1. The thumbnail looks like the horse was trying to take a picture for his friends but then the phone was on selfie mode so that happened

  2. I expected a heavy sled for them to move so laboriously and slow, but 1 ton?! No wonder they call a measure of energy, "horsepower".

  3. Such beautiful babies, looks like they are well loved and cared for. Imagine them going around a field with a plow or wagon.

  4. These guys are BIG and pulling competitions are in the US too, lots of power. It's kinda terrifying when these big boys get spooked and all startle one another.

  5. Thank you for picking this up!
    In Hokkaido, there is a history that farmers have pioneered land in the same way as the United States.
    Since the breed has been improved to carry the luggage, the strong class horse is very muscular!
    These horses supported the settlers, but in modern times they are only produced for this race …

  6. They raise draft horses in Canada to ship to Japan to be slaughtered to eat. I wonder what happens to these horses when they cannot race?

  7. Hate horse racing and THEM that make the horses s$uffer
    THEY s$hoot horses don't THEY?
    WHEN the BEING can't run FA$T enough then WHAT?
    S$hameful acts of unkindness and blindness!

    Horrid people!!!😒

  8. I used to ride a clydesdale/john mule cross (in my profile picture), she was 17 hh and a total brat 😂!
    When she got spooked, it was super scary because she didn't realize just how big she was. Handling draft horses is a brave job 😹

  9. These horses are happier than there faster slimmer counterpart!
    And have less of a chance of a fatal breakdown.

  10. Why the heck are you doing this? What is so funny with it. Competing in wich horse is fastest. Putting weights on the horse and then starts whipping it. For money?

  11. Um there are pulling compititions in Canada and the USA too just so you know… I thought this was gonna be something different/new because of the tittle lol XD

  12. Honestly In my opinion this is just abuse to horses, I’m not hating on anyone that does this just saying that they are abusing these horses

  13. I wanted to say most but ALL races and pulling cometitions thatvi have seen are horriffic, but somehow this look that bad…

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