Horse races today at Burnham Park

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Friday, February 28, 2014


LOCAL and visiting horse breeders and tenders will ride roughshod this Saturday as they re-live Baguio City's formative years through the traditional the Pony Boys Day feature of the month-long Baguio Flower Festival at the Baguio Athletic Bowl.

A bigger version of the gymkhana occasionally mounted by the pony boys at the Wright Park bridle path, the day-long equestrian show will feature races, fancy riding, bullwhipping exhibition, games on horseback and line dancing on penultimate day of the festival.

Over a hundred mounted guests and participants led by city councilor Joel Alangsab, chair of the preparation committee, will open the day with a parade at 7 a.m. from the Wrigth Park to the athletic bowl.

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Competing are riders from the Wrigth Park, Kabadjo Handlers of Camp John Hay, Country Club Pony Boys Association, Green Valley Pony Boys Association, Itogon Caballleros Association and the El Kabayo of Clark Field in Pampanga.

The multi-awarded Highland Cowboys/Cowgirls Rodeo Team of the Benguet State University. a perennial winner in the Masbate rodeo, will provide bull-whipping, roping and cattle branding exhibition while the Baguio0-Benguet and Guisad Central line dancers will provide the intermission numbers.

The day will end with a bonfire and mini-concert featuring local folk and country music talents from the Cordillera Entertainers (Baguio-Benguet-based) Association.

The equestrian event recalls the early years, before the construction of road systems connecting communities in the Baguio-Benguet area, when the horse was the fastest means of delivering news of births, marriages, deaths and social events such as the traditional canao, to relatives across the mountain passes.

It recalls the “dumba ni kabadjo”, an occasional display of horsemanship among Ibaloy men who would gather on the traditional race tracks of Dalupirip in Itogon, in Bokod and in La Trinidad towns of Benguet.

The Pony Boys Day is also an expanded version of the gymkhana introduced by Gloria Diaz, the former “Miss Universe” and actress, in the ‘70s at the Wright park.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 01, 2014.

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