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Naadam Horse Racing

Horse racing is an important part of Naadam. This sport is also centuries old, dating back to the Bronze Age. The horses are selected a month before the big day. They are taken to the adequate pasture separate from the herd and trained. The horses are taken to an adequate pasture separate from the herd and trained. Horses are divided into five groups: 2, 4 and 5 years old, over five years old and stallions.
The riders are aged from 5 to 12. Mongolian kids are excellent riders, for both girls and boys have been riding since infancy. As the popular saying goes “The nomad is born in the saddle”. Competitions are not held on special race tracks, but right across the steppe, where riders are confronted with various obstacles like rivers, ravines and hills. The distance varies according to the ages of horses, between 15 and 35 km.
The winners do a full circuit of the stadium, each accompanied by a herald. The winning horse receives the honorary title Forehead of Ten Thousand Race Horse and the five runners-up are awarded with medals. Interestingly enough, the loser is also rewarded and honored.

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