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Buffalos sprint in annual race

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(4 Oct 2017) LEADIN: The annual water buffalo race has taken place in Chonburi Province, south of Bangkok. The event is a celebration among rice farmers before the harvest. STORYLINE:And they are off... racing down the track, each determined to win, watched by an adoring crowd.Welcome to Thailand's annual water buffalo races, held at a seaside resort near Bangkok. Usually confined to slowly ploughing flooded rice paddies, these noble creatures transform into sprinters when their farmers-turned-jockeys hit them with a stick, using it like a riding-whip. Hundreds of fans crowd the muddy field to see the buffalo on the run. Elena, a Russian tourist is enjoying the festivities. "Going around and seeing what's happening right now is great. I am with my camera and I have taken dozens of pictures of what I am seeing here. I know that the buffalo race is the only event in the world. It's a very unique one. And it's great. It's fantastic," she says. The races are fun and festive, but jockeys take the matters quite seriously. The animals go through months of training ahead of the event. The buffalos are divided into five different age groups with total of 80 buffalo hitting the tracks. Winners from each group take a modest sum of 230 USD cash prize home. The tradition of buffalo racing started about a century ago when farmers gathered to celebrate the end of the ploughing season and before the harvest.Nirut Sutjarith, a buffalo owner says "I am glad that the event is held every year so we can pass on this tradition to the next generations."Another owner Suthep Theechitmachart, says he treats his animals like his children. "I raise these buffalos like my own young children. They eat better than me. Sometimes I went hungry but had to find them good, find them grass, and take good care of them. If they are hot, I turn on the electric fans for them. I spent a hundred thousand baht (approx. 3,000$) building the shed."Authorities promote the race, in order to help keep the traditional farming methods alive.You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/you... Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork

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AP Archive 4119529 0e341f6c122f0dc33530796cafaf292a HZ Thailand Buffalo Race Russia Eastern Europe Thailand Southeast Asia Bangkok Business
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