INTRODUCTION: A scene of normality is returning to the capital of Lebanon, Beirut, after almost four months of ceasefire.
1. GV Packed stadium. (2 SHOTS) 0.08
2. GV Placeboard showing numbers and horsenames. 0.11
3. SV Spectators on rails. (2 SHOTS) 0.19
4. SV Race start, chaotic mess, one horse riderless leading filed. 0.39
5. GV Crowd cheering and waving their favourites on. 0.52
6. SCU Punters on rail tracks along rails. 1.07
7. GV Crowd PULL BACK TO see horses passing camera point. 1.18
8. GV Spectators. (2 SHOTS) 1.33
SPORT: HORSE RACINGAVAILABLE FOR COMMERCIAL SALE
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Background: BEIRUT, LEBANON
INTRODUCTION: A scene of normality is returning to the capital of Lebanon, Beirut, after almost four months of ceasefire. Typifying the uneasy peace is the return of horse racing to the capital which was last staged in April.
SYNOPSIS: The crowds, who'd been without their favourite sport for six months, turned up in droves. The race course is situated near the Green Line, the no-man's land between areas of the city occupied by the Christians and the Palestinians.
The six-months lay-off has obviously had its effects on horses and jockeys. The first race started chaotically with horses veering gin all directions as their riders jockeyed for position. for one jockey, it was a short race, coming off soon after the start.
The crowd, like punters everywhere, were on the edge of their seats, with all thoughts on the outcome of their bets. Gone, for the moment at least, are the times when this area was the front line for sectarian violence in the city. Because of its location, the race-course in Beirut has always been a barometer of peace in the city. It's been closed and re-opened a number of times in recent years, and now once again, they're racing.
Despite the lack of disturbances in Beirut itself, guerrilla groups have been active in the south of the country and these racing fans are obviously set to enjoy their sport now for who knows when it will be closed again.
Source: REUTERS - MOHAMMED AWWAD