Chariot Racing is a major sport here in the
northwestern United States and the Magic
Valley is no exception. Like skiing,
snowboarding and snowmobiles, Chariot
Racing is a very popular winter sport. The
season begins in early December and ends at
the World Championship Races in Ogden
Utah in late March.
While it's not quite winter yet, don't tell the
horses and their owners. They have been
working out for several weeks and are ready
to get into the gates and get on with it.
Races in the Magic Valley are held weekly
on Saturday at Rupert Downs about 40 miles
east of Jerome. Pictures on this page show
some of the action during these races.
Chariot Racing is unique in that it pairs a
chariot, a driver and a team of horses for
racing. As in other horse racing, the gate is
the starting point. Out the gate and less that
25 seconds away is the finish line. Between
the gate and the finish line is the culmination
a lot of hard work by the owners, drivers and
the team of horses.
Pictured on the upper right is our favorite
team owned by Bob and Scott Giltner.
Racing under the flag of Diamond G Racing,
Scott is shown driving in this event. They
had two of the top teams in 2004 and went on
to race at the World Championship Races in
Ogden. On the lower right is one of the few
time that the two teams race each other.
They have both teams just about ready for
the 2005 season.
Although Chariot Racing is an amateur sport, it is
officiated in a very professional way. A group of judges
is aided by electronic timing equipment along with photo
finish cameras. All the teams are very well matched and
many times the camera is used to determine the winner
of the race.
While the racing season is short, the competition is long
on spirit. Though intense, the competitors are all friends
and share each others love of the sport. The horses
seem to love the sport and thrive on the race as well. As
the season approaches, the horses and drivers become
closer and almost as one during the competition. The
fans are loyal and avid spectators and often make small
wagers on the outcome of the race.
Well, it's just about December so we're off to The
Races! Why don't you come and join us there?
|Chariot Racing In the Magic Valley