How to Win a Horse Race (…in a Two-Man Horse Costume)
1) Trust your partner. 2) Dress properly. 3) Alcohol.
Today marks the fifth anniversary of London’s Pantomime Horse Race, a charity event for Demelza Children’s Hospice. According to founder Mark Biddiss, it’s “unashamedly daft but gloriously funny to witness.”
That’s pretty much the perfect description. Pairs of competitors get dressed up as horses (one as the head and one as the tail), racing from pub to pub on their way to the post-race Christmas party. Other costumes in the past have also included cows, zebras, ostriches, and pieces of fruit (for no reason that I could discern).
If you are considering training for next year’s Pantomime Horse Race, Carly Dexter-Fry, 2011 winner of the race, has a few tips on the event blog:
1. You have to trust your partner. The person at the back can’t see where they’re going at all, so they have to know you’ll lead them in the right direction. I was at the back for a while but I couldn’t deal with it.
2. You do get seriously sweaty. Take all your layers off. Even though it’s only mid-December you should only be wearing a t-shirt.
3. You’ll probably be drinking all the way round, so it’s good to work in a pub. You’ll have a good alcohol tolerance.
4. There’s no need to do any training. I play football anyway though, which probably helped.
5. On the morning of the race I just ate a banana, but you should probably have porridge – or a sugar lump or something.
And of course training to the Rocky theme is also a tried-and-true method for getting racing fit. And if you can train with a friend in a bird suit, so much the better.
Best of luck to this year’s racers! If you want to see photos of last year’s ridiculousness, check out the Flickr gallery here.
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