An afternoon at the races

by Luca Catalano Gonzaga

Quiroga, a village in Coacachi canton, in the area of the volcanic crater in the middle of Lake Cuichoca, Ecuador. The San Martin Horse Racing Track is in reality a straght, unpaved stretch of less than a kilometer of pebbles and dust on a slight upward incline. The race scheduled for 4pm will start two hours late. The spectators drink beer and spirits and bet. The more they drink the higher the stakes they bet. The horses are walked through the crowd to make them sensitive, all nerves. Kicks fly, whips whistle, cash rustles, beers are opened with teeth, faces become livid, angry. In the end, only the two horses who garnered the most bets will leave the starting gate.The race will be over in less than a minute and it won’t be the most fun part. The challenge is all in the preparation.

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