After the break of time zuhur, the sun is still blazing bright on that day (23/2). Previously, two " race" races have been played. Takengon's notoriously cool air, somehow in the middle of the day yawning makes it hot. Thousands of people who came on the field Blang Bebangka, Kec. Pegasing was forced to squint because of the glare. And also forced to wear a hat or umbrella to avoid the heat of the sun. And I just rely on handkerchiefs in wear like a hood. The result, the skin was practically burned.
This traditional racetrack is an annual event held by Central Aceh Regency to enliven the 435th anniversary of Takengon. This activity has become a tradition since hereditary. The horses are pitted riding is ridden by children aged about 10-15 years. No saddle, also without a head protector. Yet the jockeys were not the least bit daunted. Spurred his horse around the arena to be number one on the finish line.
I took a position at the first corner in an oval circular arena. The high enthusiasm of Gayo society makes the edge of the field to be solid to watch. In some places, even audiences build their own tents and are attached to the racetrack. They even took their relatives like they wanted to picnic. While sitting on the mat and enjoying lunch, they chatted while waiting for the race to begin.
My arrival to Takengon is just to play. Distributed hobby of photographing and also fulfilling the desire to track the foot directly in a city that is often called the country above the clouds. Even so, with this racetrack activity is a plus for me. Because the main desire is to come and try to enjoy the beauty of Lake Laut Tawar. And also enjoy coffee arabika gayo in place.
I was forced to enter the racetrack to take pictures. Could be this action is not safety . But the crowded conditions inside the corner make the view often covered by several bodies. This is definitely blocking the camera to take the jockey's moment on the horse.
At the racetrack this time around there are about 135 horses are included. These horses are brought in from three districts in the province of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD). Among them are 101 horses from Bener Meriah, 43 horses from Gayo Lues and 171 horses from Central Aceh as host. For all this is contested in 10 categories / classes divided by age and horse height. Starting from the category of D Young to A Super Old, the race is held for one week is fighting trophy governor of Aceh.
The caustic sound of a wail sounded instantly creating a puff of smoke in the starting gate . Four horses are already riding along side by side. Waiting for the moment, I hold the fingertips in the camera shutter release button . Less than a minute of galloping horse is in the shooting. When the time comes, then the shutter button was pressed until several frames are processed in the camera.
Interesting indeed watching the horse race. Moreover, I have never seen directly. Sometimes it's like not believing I can get this close to a horse. So when there is a pause in the time of prayer ashar I try to go to some tents or barracks where the runners are in moor. I looked and noticed a bit. Somehow horses like to have its own charm. The mighty beings of God's grace are just like mystical vehicles. As if his muscular muscles challenged me to invite to run. "As soon as you can", as I feel each of my eyes collide with the horse.
A friend once informed me. That, "the horse race in Takengon is not just a horse race. The power of the horse is actually in the handler. " Once the friend convinced me. Brief explanation is that the pawanglah who was colliding knowledge with horse media. So no wonder if hearing a horse could have died suddenly on the track when racing.
Out of curiosity, I try to look for where and when the handler performs a prayer ritual for the horse. Some of my horse-riding tents went slowly to look but some time I searched but unlucky. But from everyone I know in Takengon do not deny the ritual of the handler to the horse. It was a common secret apparently.
Horse racing is not just to win prizes. Because if you look at the amount of prizes on offer then it is not comparable with the care and price of the horse. But more to the pride as where the spirit in the beginning. And also the winning horses that will bring the name of the area that was brought. However, the regent of Central Aceh as the host invites all participants to make this horse race as a place to increase the rope silatuhrahmi. So as to attract tourists to come.
Without feeling some " race " is done. I decided to go home before the race ended. From a distance I see people moving dynamically. Some are still gathering to keep watching. Some go around among the impromptu markets that sell goods and snacks. Like a gigantic recreation place, this place has become a gayo community gathering arena to enjoy a piece of entertainment. Yes, the entertainment they are proud of. Traditional gay horse racing. ###