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Reindeer Racing Is a Traditional Scandinavian Sport

You’ve never seen a race like this before. Reindeer racing has been a long-standing tradition in the northern regions of Scandinavia. The races take place on a 1,000-meter track, that’s usually located on a frozen lake. The reindeer pull jockeys on skis — and the fastest duo wins. Most races draw small local crowds, but certain ones can draw thousands of spectators. The races offer prize money up to 3,000 euros.

Reindeer are mostly used for their meat or for herding, so when it comes to picking one for racing, it can be a huge gamble. They are semi-wild animals, and are much harder to train and domesticate then a racehorse. But despite the challenges, the sport remains a strong tradition throughout the region. It’s also a pretty interesting sight to see — since we associate reindeer with pulling sleighs around Christmas time, instead of frantically dashing down a track with a skier behind them.