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A Guide to the
 Festival Horse and Pony Races
in

by Calddir Lenion Nenharma
Nenharma Farms, Bree-Land, Arkenstone


General Information
Unless you are kindred with the Inn League, Festival Races are the only way to obtain a race token to barter for a Festival Horse or Pony.  They are held ONLY during one of the four festivals throughout the year: Spring, Lithe, Harvestmath and Yule. 

The races are timed and thus you compete against the clock and not other riders.  The clock starts the moment you mount one of the racehorses at the starting gate and ends when the timer expires.  You must pass through each of the ten gates before the timer expires.  The starting gate is also the finishing line!  If you finish the race before the timer expires, you win!

These races seem very difficult at first, but once you get used to them, you will breeze through them like a true champion!

You have to have earned the riding skill in order to obtain and run the race quests!
 

Obstacles
There are three types of obstacles you will encounter during the race: 

* Fences are basic fences dissecting the track and require you to simply jump over them. 
* Carts/trees are basic obstacles placed in the track which require you to either jump over, or ride around them. 
* Sludge ponds are indeed the special obstacles in the races.  They are nasty accumulations of sticky mire that you must either ride through or jump over using the rickety bridges. 

There are two gates in the sludge ponds, the bridge gate and the water gate.  The bridge gate offers a nice speed buff, the water gate however slaps you with a brutal speed debuff.  You need to pass one of these gates in order to continue the race. 

Keep in mind: If you attempt to take the bridge, and miss or fall off, you will need to pass through the water gate in order for the race to continue!
 

Tips
Do not despair if you mess up a jump, or have to take the water gate.  The races are tricky, but do allow a bit for error.  Never despair, keep on pushing even if you make an error or two.  The race isn't over till the horse nays in the stall!

Winning the Race
Should you win the race, you are given a choice of one race token (to barter for a horse) or three festival tokens.  You only need one race token per horse!  The race quest is repeatable each hour until you complete it, then it becomes a daily.  There are two separate race quests at each of the below tracks.



The Breeland "Tricky"
The Breeland Race Track is wrapped around the Breeland Festival Grounds, just south of Hengstacer Farms!

I call this race the Breeland Tricky because it is indeed a bit tricky.  The fence jumps are high, the carts cannot be jumped over, and the bridges are difficult to approach. 

Take the quest from Sally Threshing and mount either a horse or pony when you are ready.  Feel free to run the course a few times to get used to it but remember that the race horses go much faster than any other steed in the game!

Mount the race horse/pony at the starting gate, the timer starts and you are off!

The first section is a couple of downhill jumps, you will get a lot of airtime during this section.  Cutting it as close to the inside hedge as possible could save you a second or two.

The first sludge pond is the easier of the two.  Approach is on the left and requires a careful right turn before the jump.  Easy to miss or fall off indeed, but if you do, be sure to go through the water gate on the left before continuing.

Fence obstacles.  A series of simple fence jumps.

Cart obstacles.  A series of carts requiring you to zig-zag between them.

The second sludge pond is a difficult one in which the approach is on the right and up a small stone ramp.  If you are speed buffed from the first sludge pond, you will approach this bridge at mach 1 making it very difficult to execute that immediate right turn at the top without falling off.  Again, if you do fall off or miss the jump, be sure to run through the water gate on the left before continuing.

Fence obstacles.  Another series of fence jumps.

Home stretch.  Sprint to the starting gate!

Congratulations, you have finished the Breeland 'Tricky'!!!



The Michel Delving "Sneaky"
The Michel Delving race track is tucked in a valley south of Michel Delving.

I call this race the Michel Delving Sneaky because they offer you ways to 'sneak' around some obstacles. Hobbits are awesome.. hehe

Take the quest from Carl Proudfoot and mount either a horse or pony when you are ready.  Feel free to run the course a few times to get used to it but remember that the race horses go much faster than any other steed in the game!

The first section is a sludge pond.  The approach is from the right and is not a difficult jump.  If you fall off or miss, be sure to take the water gate to the left before continuing.

Fence obstacles.  These can be a bit tricky actually, as while the fences are low (hobbits), they are also closely spaced, making jumps at full speed impossible.  Approaching at a slight angle, or slightly slowing your speed will allow a smooth execution.

Cart obstacles.  A series of carts on the track requiring you to zig-zag around them, OR, if you are good at jumping, you can jump over the limbers (shafts) either saving or costing you a couple of seconds.

Tree obstacle.  A tree has fallen on the track.  You can either jump over it on the left or ride around it on the right.

More fence obstacles.  Short and narrow as before.

Second sludge pond.  The approach is on the left.  Not a bad jump.  Again, if you fall off or miss the bridge, be sure to go through the water gate on the right before continuing.

Bridge and home stretch.  Nice downhill jump towards the stone bridge where you will get a lot of airtime, then sprint to the starting gate.  Be sure to pass through the starting gate as it is also the finishing line!

Congratulations!  You have completed the Michel Delving 'Sneaky'!!!


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