Horse racing resumed at Cyprus' Nicosia racecourse on Thursday (26 December) ... six months after?
GTV Crowds at Nicosia race track
LV People entering through pay gates
SV PAN FROM People on balcony TO horses parrading
SV Crowds in paddock
SV Jockeys mount up (2 shots)
SV INT Totalisator counter with people placing bets (3 shots)
SV UN troops in grandstand (2 shots)
GV Finish of first race on card
GTV Crowds at rail
GV Start of 7 1/2-furlong race and horses round bend
CU Spectator looks through binoculars
LV Horses race down back straight
GV Crowd cheering in stands
LV PAN Winner, No. 5, wins by two lengths from No. 4
Initials BB/1924 JW/AW/BB/1947
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Horse racing resumed at Cyprus' Nicosia racecourse on Thursday (26 December) ... six months after the Turkish invasion of the island in mid-July. Since then no races had been held.
Some 6,000 Greek Cypriots packed the grandstand, and from the other side of the racecourse Turkish soldiers of the invasion force watched free of charge. The racecourse lies directly between the lines occupied by the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish army.
When a ceasefire was declared in August, trainers and jockeys began work again to get the island's 600 horses back in training.
There were doubts whether many Greek Cypriot racing fans would risk going to the course again with the Turkish soldiers close by. But they turned out in droves for the traditional Boxing Day meeting to bet on the horses -- some of which survived bombing attacks when stables were damaged in the invasion.
Despite the fact that money is very scarce on the island, betting was briek. In fact, the day's take came to 30,000 pounds sterling (72,000 U.S. dollars) -- just 10,000 pounds sterling (24,000 U.S. dollars) less than the normal take before the war.