Saturday, January 21, 2012

The streakiest bacon you'll ever see: Thousands of squealing fans cheer on the piglet racers


Horsing around: Kobuk (yellow bib) nudges ahead of Sourdough Jack (green bib) in the piglet race in Multnomah, Oregon

Racing piglets tear round a 150-foot-long track at 20mph - jumping fences and lighting up the faces of hundreds of children.
The popular steeple-chasing piggies are a huge hit with fans, who watch up to four cute 'Babe' look-a-likes slog it out in each round.
With their curly-tailed stars leaping over two-foot-tall hurdles in the races, organisers say the pigs are enticed by the thrill of the competition - and a tasty snack at the end.
The shows are organised for kids - but adults keen to bring home the bacon regularly bet just as they would if they were at horse-racing.

Over they go: Up to 1,000 spectators turn out to each event in a tradition that stretches back 100 years

'The pigs are so intelligent that we don't even have to train them,' said 20-year-old Alec Crisman, who works for the All-Alaskan Racing Pigs in Eugene, Oregon.
'At larger shows we have had audiences of up to 1,000 people.
'It's a 100-year-old tradition in America and this is our 25th year in business.
'We start by introducing the pigs to the crowd one by one and hopefully throw in some funny names to get the kids going.
'For example last year when the film The Black Swan [starring Natalie Portman] was popular we had one one pig called Natalie Porkman. 'The crowd loved that.'

Leap of faith: Darting over the fence Natalie Porkman (blue bib) leads Strawberry (pink bib). Who chooses these names?

Quick out of the traps: The piglets tear round a 60 foot long track at 20mph but are constantly rotated so they don't get too tired

Organisers Alaskan Racing showcase their racing oinkers at fairs across the US, including states Oregon and California.
'We do around 200 shows in one season and there around four to seven races a day, especially in our busy summer season in June to August,' said piglet racing commentator Alec.
Buying the little piglets from reputable breeders, Alaskan Racing go to each event with 20 piglets they rotate between races to reduce stress on the little porkers.

Bringing home the bacon: Performed for the benefit of excited kids, it is not unusual though to see a few notes changing hands between adults

Well-earned feed: The piglets enjoy a chow-down after earning their corn

source: dailymail

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