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Miniature horses prepare for 100km multi-day race through Northland

They may be the size of a big dog, but a herd of miniature horses from Kerikeri pack a big heart and fast legs, perfect for racing.

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Come Queens Birthday weekend, some big-hearted horses and their horse sized doggie mate will set off in the Far North. Source: Seven Sharp

Born To Run Adventure Racing’s Chloe Phillips-Harris is busy preparing for Queen’s Birthday weekend, which will see horses set off in the Far North.

The Great Northern Gallop, starting June 3, is a five-day 100km adventure race along the west coast forest and 90 Mile Beach. 

There’s a catch, though. The horses have to run 25km a day, and a person needs to run alongside them. 

Race participants are required to camp each night in unique locations around the course. On top of the 100km distance, there’s a 10km beach dash on the final day.

Phillips-Harris explained the rules: “No riding them, just running. You’ve got to be holding on to the lead rope.”

Born to Run Adventure Racing came up with the concept to promote animal welfare.

Phillips-Harris said miniature horses come with their own set of challenges, and that meant many were placed in little yards, or left and get really sick.