NATIONAL

The race that was not

Sonepur Nov. 24. The much-hyped horse race at Asia's biggest cattle fair in Bihar's Sonepur was robbed of excitement today with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader, Laloo Prasad Yadav's horse, Chetak, being withdrawn from the championship at the last moment.

"Lalooji's horse did not take part in the race as it is only two years old and cannot bear the rigour of a race," the trainer of the horse told presspersons.

Following the news of the RJD chief's horse opting out of the race, the Sonepur BJP MLA, Vinay Kumar Singh, also did not enter his horse in the race. There was a huge rush at the local ground, the venue of the horse race.

The Saran District Magistrate, Vaidyanath Mishra, said Chetak was adjudged "the most beutiful horse" at the fair at a function held later.

Earlier, people in large numbers thronged the ground to have a look at Mr. Yadav's horse, which was the star attraction at the fair. A contingent of mounted personnel of the Bihar Military Police and local administration officials were busy in providing all comfort, including the best quality fodder, regular massage and training to Chetak.

Besides Mr. Yadav's horse, horses of Mr. Vinay Singh and the Bihar Land Revenue Minister, Ramai Ram, were the talking points among the visitors to the fair. Mr. Ram's horse was sold for Rs. 23,000 on Friday, but Mr. Yadav's horse was not put up for sale. — PTI