|Hoàng thị Tuyệt, 30, a Tày woman jockey competed for the first time this year.. VNS Photo Nguyễn Mỹ Hà|
BẮC HÀ — Lào Cai Province's annual horse race ended on Sunday in a packed stadium in Bắc Hà Town.
Sixty-seven locally bred horses competed in the two-day Bắc Hà Open Horse Race, with a top cash prize of VNĐ50 million (over US$2,000) up for grabs.
Horse number 148 ridden by jockey Vàng Văn Giang from Na Hối Commune won the top prize, which was participated in by a female jockey for the first time.
“That winning horse was great,” said Hầu A Thắng, 42, who took his 12-year-old son from neighbouring Si Ma Cai District to watch the race.
“I go to watch every year, “ he said, adding that he used to raise horses.
The Bắc Hà Open Horse Race was the first large-scale public event in the province to return after the COVID-19 lockdown during the first half of April.
Announced later than previous years in early May, the event still drew many visitors.
“The number of people is the same as last year,” said Lê văn Luyện, head of Bắc Hà District Culture Department.
Tickets at VNĐ30,000 and VNĐ70,000 were sold out not, including the many who watched from buildings overlooking the stadium and those who snuck in without tickets.
Small children, the elderly and people with disabilities got free entry.
Betting on horse racing is illegal in Việt Nam, but underground gambling could have taken place, according to a local official who declined to be named.
Bắc Hà District officials said they hoped to make the race an annual festival for people of the northwestern region to enjoy. — VNS