Tibet's Xigaze holds horse race to boost traditional sports

LHASA, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Karma Sonam, a rider from a local village, was gracefully riding his black horse, donning light and stunning racing clothes at the horse racing field on Wednesday in Sangsang Township of Xigaze city, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

Karma Sonam tightly held the reins, deftly waved the whip, and made the final sprint of the 3.5-kilometer race, finishing as the second rider to cross the finish line.

"We are all experienced riders, having grown up with horses and participating in various horse racing events in the region," said Karma Sonam with excitement. "Horse racing in Sangsang is the most important event in our county every summer."

The horse race had 47 riders from various villages in the county. The youngest rider, Tsering Dondrup, only 14 years old and from Karma Sonam's village, won the first prize in the final race. "I've been involved in horse racing since I was a child, and I participate in our horse racing every summer vacation," Tsering Dondrup said, adding that he will do his best to pass on the traditional sport.

With over a thousand locals and tourists cheering despite the rain, Tashi Tsering, an official with the local government, stated that the horse racing events protect and preserve the culture and traditions while enriching the sports and cultural life of the locals.

The horse race in Sangsang takes place from Tuesday to Saturday and includes not only the horse race and equestrian performance but also features sports activities like games for farmers and herdsmen.