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article imageHorse wins annual race against man

By Lynn Curwin     Jun 12, 2011 in Sports
Llanwrtyd Wells - A horse has won the 31st annual Man versus Horse race in Wales, which covers 22 miles, with the first four-legged competitor coming in 17 minutes ahead of the top finishing human.
Next in Line Grangeway, a gelding ridden by Betty Gordon, was the winner, with a time of two hours eight minutes and 37 seconds. The first person across the finish line was Charlie Pearson.
The Motor Neurone Disease Association, for which the event raises money, states that competitors travel along "farm tracks, footpaths, forestry roads and open moorland. There are also some short tarmac sections and some hilly sections with a total ascent of 3000ft."
Heavy showers made the ground soft in some places this year but those involved reported that they still had a lot of fun.
"They said they had a great time," Tony Egan, organiser, told the BBC. "It's good to see how popular it is."
Abouut 300 individual runners,100 relay teams of three, and 50 horses took part.
The Visit Mid Wales site reports that the idea for the race came about after the landlord of a pub overheard patrons discussing whether man was the equal of a horse when covering significant distances cross country.
Horsetalk reported that changes were made to the course in 1982 to provide a more even match between humans and horses, and that has resulted in some very close finishes.
The first time a man was able to win was in 2004, when Huw Lobb won in two hours and five minutes, two minutes ahead of the fastest horse. The only other year a man was first was in 2007.
Horses must go through vetting stations at the start, the midway point and the end of the race.
Several photos of this year's event can be see on Wales Online.
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