Drag racing is a visceral enterprise, one that's deep-rooted in the muscle cars of America. But this time, we're talking about a completely different kind of drag race. Apparently, a couple of Travellers (a traditionally nomadic people of ethnic Irish origin, who maintain a separate language and set of traditions) in Ireland decided it would be a good idea to charge down a busy roadway in an old fashioned sulky race. Sulkies are carts raced by ponies, in a style that's essentially the same as harness racing. The racing comes under scrutiny for its cruelty to the animals involved, much like horse racing.
And in an incredible act of stupidity, the horses weren't the only ones in danger during this stunt.
Superintendent Con Cadogan of Gurranabraher Garda Station described the race as “a clear breach of road traffic legislation and posed a significant danger to those involved and to other road users," in the Irish Examiner.
One man in his 20s was arrested and released without charge, and between 60-70 spectators and vehicles were at the scene when authorities were called.
Supporters of the sport said it can be a safe venture, but not when it's practiced like this.
“We are concerned that the practice of sulky racing, which is a long-standing tradition within and outside the Traveller community, should not be conflated with the actions of the participants in this event," a spokesman for the Travellers of Pavee Point said. “Sulky racing can be carried out in a way which is safe and well regulated, where there is space for it to take place. Examples of good practice exist around Ireland.”
This was not one of them.
We'd have warned you about the language if we knew what they were saying, but since hardly a lick of it is discernable, we think we're safe. Wish we could say the same about the horses.
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