Ancient Rome's Chariot Races Hit the Track in Murillo

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Photo by Adam Dennhardt
THUNDER BAY – When you hear the word chariot racing,your mind immediately reverts to the scent of wooden wheels rubbing against the axles of the one-man chariot, pulled by the force of 1500 pounds of pure muscle pounding against the reddened clay covered dirt of ancient Rome. Hundreds of thousands of screaming fans could be heard from slaves to commoners all the way up to the royal food chain and the entourages of the Emperor.

This fast paced and extremely dangerous sport held no discrimination towards social class which allowed betting and playing the odds for money as one of the main contributing factors towards the massive success deeming it the most popular sport in the Ancient worlds.

The Northwestern Ontario Horse Racing Association brings back Ancient Rome’s infamous Chariot Racing to present day Murillo on Sunday July 10th @ 4 p.m at the Murillo Speedway/Municipal Grounds.

In this Youtube Video, Adam Dennhardt says, “This is at Murillo out side of Thunder Bay this is the chariot races we strapped the helmet cam on my brother’s cowboy hat”.

Horse racing has been in Thunder Bay for over 120 years , seeing various competitions of classes of horse.It wasn’t until 20 years ago that local horsemen developed The Northwestern Ontario Horse Racing Association in the community.

Over the past couple of years the support seemed to of faded out but a handful of individuals got together over the past year and decided its time to revitalize the Association.

Chariot Races in Ancient Rome
Chariot Races in Ancient Rome
Kelly Sebulski, the association’s head of marketing and promotions says,”The first set of competitions were held last month and was very successful being our first event tester.We had 7 chariots and 5 flat racers which was great for us”.

“The Association currently has 30 active members and counting,with meetings held frequently. Having absolutely no funding from corporate sponsors, everything has all been out of pocket to cover expenses,” says Sebulski. “Its been an uphill battle but”, Sebulski says “the members we have now are willing to take that climb so we’re all grateful for each effort”.

A few local businesses have donated porta-potties and fencing towards the event to help offset the cost and are reaching out to the community for any support.

Word of mouth has proved to be successful and with the great turnout from last months event, July 10th has already doubled its participants. Sebulski also added that “These events will be running all summer long until fall, and this is a wonderful opportunity for the whole family. There will be children racing little horses too, so that just adds to the fun component of the competition”.

Come on out and show that horse pride at the Murillo Speedway/Municipal Grounds July 10th
Start: 4:00p.m
Admission $3
Under 12 Free

Bring your lawn chairs and sunscreen this Sunday, parking is available behind the Municipality Building!

Raechel Reed
MMG, an Urban Boutique company