Kid Jockeys

By Alain Schroeder

Sports, first prize stories

September 17, 2017

Young jockeys compete in a Maen Jaran horse race, on Sumbawa Island, Indonesia.

Child jockeys ride bareback, barefoot and with little protective gear, on small horses, during Maen Jaran horse races, on Sumbawa Island, Indonesia. Maen Jaran is a tradition passed on from generation to generation. Once a pastime to celebrate a good harvest, horse racing was transformed into a spectator sport on Sumbawa by the Dutch in the 20th century, to entertain officials. The boys, aged between five and ten, mount their small steeds five to six times a day, reaching speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour. Winners receive cash prizes, and participants earn €3.50 to €7 per mount.

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