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Reindeer racing in Finland

Kimmo Brandt / EPA

Reindeers and their jockeys during the Reindeer Cup Championship Drives 2011 in Inari, Lapland, northern Finland, on March 19 There are 51 Reindeer Herding Cooperatives in Finland of which 20 took part in the 2011 Cup. When autumn arrives reindeers are separated. Some go to the slaughterhouse, other are kept for breeding and a few males are neutered and trained as work reindeers, mainly for pulling sledges and racing. Once that has been done, local breeder cooperatives like to find out who owns the fastest and strongest reindeer. With the onset of spring, the cooperatives hold meetings to review the events of the past year.

Kimmo Brandt / EPA

Two childen on a sled watch the Reindeer Cup Championship Drives.

Kimmo Brandt / EPA

Reindeers pull their jockeys during the Reindeer Cup Championship Drives 2011 in Inari, Lapland, northern Finland, March 19.

Kimmo Brandt / EPA

A man walks in specially made shoes at the Reindeer Cup Championship Drives.

 It looks like the jockeys take the sport very seriously. I wonder how fast reindeer run?