Bulldozing his way to victory

This ride is not for the faint-hearted.

The jockey has to hang on to a pair of bulls as they dash across a rice paddy, with waves of muddy water splashing over him and his wooden cart.

This traditional form of bull racing known as pacu jawi can be found in Pariangan, in Tanah Datar regency in West Sumatra, Indonesia, and hundreds show up to cheer the jockeys on as they compete for lucrative prizes.

The races have been around for hundreds of years, and once heralded the end of the harvest season when the rice paddies had been cleared.

According to the rules, riders must stay upright for the duration of the 250m race. Injuries are not uncommon in the races, with one jockey telling Agence France-Presse that he broke his hand once, but that did not deter him from continuing to race.

A jockey may even bite the tail of a bull before the race to get it in the mood for running.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2018, with the headline 'Bulldozing his way to victory'. Print Edition | Subscribe