In Peru, owners and trainers have been showing the horses they hope will be selected to take part in next year's annual extended gait horse competition.
GV Horses paraded around field (4 shots)
SV Judge watches horse
GV Horses and riders lined up
GV Spectators watch as horses parade around field (5 shots)
SV Horses passing judges
SV/CU Horses parade as spectators watch (3 shots)
SV Spectators applauding as winner congratulated
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Peru, owners and trainers have been showing the horses they hope will be selected to take part in next year's annual extended gait horse competition.
SYNOPSIS: These horses, being put through their paces in this field, at the town of Pachacamac, some 30 kilometres from the peruvian capital Lima, are members of a very special elite in the world of horse racing -- the rare and traditional Peruvian extended gait horse.
Owners and trainers are showing these horses before a panel of judges who will select those to take part in the annual contest next year -- and there is much competition.
What makes these horses as something special in the equine world is really quite simple. It is the way they move. Unlike most horses, these have an extended gait -- they take bigger paces than most animals. It is something that Peru is proud of and the horses have been bred since the nations's earliest days. Experts describe their steps as Gateo, cat step. Their characteristics are strength allied with a light pace which makes them perfect for long distance riding, and their tameness. There is no need to break these horses in and they can be ridden easily at as early an age as two-and-a-half years.
The government regulates export of these horses. In 1977 only 300 were sold overseas. They fetch a handsome price. The average is about five thousand dollars (GBP 2,400) and the record was 12,000 dollars (GBP 5,800).