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.
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.