Thursday, February 7, 2008

Goat racing!

So I came across some info on goat racing while looking to see where Trinidad and Tobago were on a map. These islands are the home of some carnival festivals leading up to and including Easter. One of the most off-beat is the The Buccoo Goat Race Festival, which takes place on the first Tuesday after Easter. The tradition started about 75 years ago as a grassroots response to the upper-class pastime of thoroughbred horse racing.

This is a really cool pic, although a little large to post here:

In looking for more details about goat racing, I found that in Tanzania, there is a charity goat race that happens in the summer called the Dar es Salaam. To quote the site: "The main point of the Goat Races is the serious business of raising money for very needy causes here in Tanzania. Money is raised through the sponsorship of races, ticket sales, goat buying and betting plus a variety of other generous donations. We are deeply grateful to all those who have contributed. Over the last seven years a total of around $180,000 has been raised to help over twenty different charities all over Tanzania."

The Tanzania fest is in tun based off of the Royal Ascot Goat Races in Uganda The first goat races there were held in 1993 at Kampala Rugby Club. The idea of goat racing was developed from a pig race that had been held in Zimbabwe to celebrate the birthday of a horse breeder who did not have enough space in his garden to hold a horse race.

You should check out their goat info page where you can learn, among other things, that goat meat is not called muchomo (?)

I am still searching for US goat racing. There is a Phoenixville PA race in May that is sponsored by Sly Fox Brewery. The winning goat will have a seasonal beer named after them!

The Falmouth Goat Races legend has it, were started due to a practical joke played on a man by the name of Glen. After Glen lost money at the (horse) racetrack he and his friend joked that since they both had goats, they should just bet on them. His "friend" took out an ad in the paper telling people to call Glen to register their goats for the race. When more than a few people registered, they decided to hold the races to save face. There was also a video made about these races.

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