Teams lock horns for glory

Participants in fancy dress thrilled spectators on Sunday when they made a jump during an annual horn sledge race, called Hornschlittenrennen, in the town of Gaissach in southern Germany.

The sleds get their name from the shape that the riders make when they curl up like the horns of a mountain goat.

The 2m- to 3m-long sleds were once used by alpine farmers to ferry hay from the meadows up to the mountainside and then back down to the valley, or to carry wood to their farms.

Now, these sleds are mostly used for these fun races that have attracted hundreds of spectators every year for more than 40 years.

The sleds are often more than 60 years old.

Dressed in old-fashioned clothes and colourful caps, each team tries to be the fastest to negotiate the perilous and winding route, which usually stretches more than 1km.

Bumps and bruises are par for the course as the sleds careen down the slope, often reaching speeds of up to 100kmh.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2017, with the headline 'Teams lock horns for glory'. Print Edition | Subscribe