January 30, 2013 at 5:54 p.m.

They're off to the races

They're off  to the races
They're off to the races

By James [email protected] | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

How's this for horsepower?

Sprinters Xavier James and Daniel Tucker kick up the dust at the Vesey Street track as they prepare for tonight's 'man v horse' challenge.

The pair, who are currently in training for the Beijing Olympics, will take on Casmir Camotion and Shady's Liberty - two of the fastest ponies in Bermuda.

The challenge came about after some serious trash-talking from James, who works for St. John's Ambulance at the weekly Harness Pony Racing meets.

The speedy schoolteacher, who represented Bermuda at the Athens Olympics in 2004, reckons he could take on any of the horses at the track. Now his buddy Chris Roque has taken him up on the challenge.

"I think I can beat him," said James.

"I'm going to cut his tail. It's going to be all about the start. Those horses can go faster than we can, but they can't get up to speed as quick."

The top speed that James, who ran 10.79 to take bronze at the Island Games in Rhodes in June, and Tucker, who ran 11.27 to finish fifth in the same race, can reach is 27mph. The ponies can go much faster - upwards of 30mph.

Theoretically Roque's three-year-old pony Casmir Camotion, who will be driven by Mark Richardson, and Shady's Liberty, with Nick DeCosta in the sulky, should be able to come in under the 100m world record of 9.74, set by Jamaica's Asafa Powell.

But with a horse, concedes Roque, there are a number of other factors that come into play.

"Over a greater distance it would be no contest. But it takes longer for my horse to get up to top speed.

"It's going to be interesting. It's a fun challenge and hopefully it should get a lot of people down to the track and help raise the profile of both sports."

Up and coming young sprinter Daniel Tucker is psyched about the challenge.

"Anything with a crowd, I love it. I know I'm fast but it would be something to beat a horse.

"You know when people say someone's quick, they say 'that guy's a horse'. I want them to say 'that guy's a Daniel'"[[In-content Ad]]

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