While the inhabitants of Torei enjoy many games, pass times, and diversions; there are few that draw as much attention, money, and excitement as the Ponygirl Competitions. Though similar in dress to the transport ponies of Diarecai, the similarities are largely superficial. Unlike transport ponies, competitive ponies are athletes of the highest order. Every ringdom has its own pony track, specialties, and methods. However, there is little variation in the prestige and money available to the top-level ponies and their owners. Due to the popularity of the sport, world-class ponies command some of the highest prices of any slave on Torei.
These events are short-haul races preformed unencumbered. Though not as popular as the chariot pulls, they are a staple of pony racing events.
Chariot Pulls Edit
By far the most popular pony events are the chariot pulls. There is almost infinite variation in the types of races from the ubiquitous 100m solo where a single pony pulls a small chariot with a single charioteer for 100 meters, to the paired 10k where a two pony team runs a ten kilometer track, to the infamous Planetary Pull where a twelve-pony team pulls a two man cargo chariot from Alem to Diarecai over the course of a full year.
These events see ponies bound in the strictest of bondage, led through an acrobatic routine, and the judged on stringency of bondage, difficulty of routine, and quality of execution. Other athlete ponies tend to look down on these comparatively simple-seeming competitions but dressage ponies know that their event is much harder than it seems to outsiders.
These relatively long races require ponies to successfully vault a series of fences, trenches, and other obstacles to complete their course on time.
Cart Pulls Edit
Cart pulls require ponies to pull a laden cart down a straight 50m track in 30 seconds. Any pony who fails to finish within that time frame is disqualified from the competition. Of those who successfully complete the event, the one which pulled the heaviest cart is declared the winner. Though they don't enjoy the spotlight of the charioteers, cart pull pony managers require an in-depth understanding of both the sport and their charge so they can select a load which is neither too heavy (risking incompletion) nor too light (risking placement). As such, these managers are often, themselves, cart pull ponies which were put out to pasture. Daughter-pony, mother-manager parings are fairly common and are considered lucky among the more superstitions pony betters.
The Diarecai Derby Edit
Though Diarecai hosts near-constant pony races of every variety, the Diarecai Derby stands apart from the crowd. The climax of the racing season, this 2 week long event includes competitions of every stripe as well as auctions, stablehand training sessions, cocktail parties, and seminars. The event culminates in a 100m solo chariot pull which typically has a million-credit purse, 5 times the sale price of ponies considered prospective champions.
The All-Possessor Open Edit
The hemisphere championship event for the antipodal ringdoms. This is a religious as well as secular event and is open to anyone who can put up the relatively low entrance fee. Traditionally, the temple also puts up a team for this event.
Planetary Pull Edit
This year-long event involves a twelve-pony team pulling a chariot with two charioteers (a driver and a navigunner) and a heavy load of supplies and armaments from Alem to a series of resupply checkpoints, waystations, and then finally to Dairecai. Not a race in the conventional sense, the prize for this ultimate challenge of a team's skill, endurance, and luck is equally divided among all who successfully complete the event within a year of setting out. It is estimated that, between bandit raids, wildlife attacks, fatigue, navigator error, daemon interference, injuries, and illnesses, fewer than 1% of all teams arrive intact at Dairecai. Many years come and go without a single completion.
Notable Ponies, Charioteers, Owners, and Stablehands Edit
- Krys [stripped of house name], was widely considered a promising upstart on the youth pony circuit which she ran for her finishing academy team. Several notable pony farm owners intended to enter bids for her on her graduation but she was never put up for auction and has not appeared on the racing circuit since her graduation.
Pony Gear Edit
Though the regulations only require racing bridles to incorporate a standard-gauge bit gag, many bridles also include rings to keep ponys "manes" pulled back out of their eyes, simulated pony ears, and, especially for events requiring navigation and steering, reigns to attach to the bit gag or to the pony's nipples.
These full-arm gloves end in pony hooves and have straps attached to the wrists which wrap around the upper arm, keeping the limb fully flexed and functionally immobilized while leaving the back and buttocks exposed to encouragement from charioteers. Though it is rarely done, full armbinders can be substituted.
Ranging from simple chastity belts to elaborate webs of laminate, the harness serves to ensure that the standard gauge dildo and butt plug aren't dislodged during a pony's run. Many butt plugs incorporate tails colored to match a pony's mane.
The element that, above all, separates pony races from simple footraces. These heelless boots are very difficult for untrained individuals to walk in but experienced and properly modified ponies can run in them even more quickly than more conventional athletes can run in normal running shoes. Aside from the pony under full harness, there is no sight more iconic to the sport of ponygirl racing than the pony boot.
In the mountainous ringdoms, all the above gear is often incorporated into a single, full-body laminate bodysuit.
Laminate/Naked Controversy Edit
Of all the debates which rage in racing pubs, perhaps none engenders more passion than that of whether ponies should run in full laminate bodysuits, or in the bare minimum required bridle, armstraps, harness, and boots. This debate has become a major battleground in the ongoing clash between the progressive mountainous ringdoms (where laminate bodysuits are given free rein) and the traditionalist antipodal ringdoms (where naked ponies are hands down the most common). Although much ink has been shed over which method is superior, the reality is that the two are functionally identical. Many of the enhancements used by the allegedly technically superior laminate ponies are also used by naked ponies (tradition is all well and good but the purses for championships can help the most hidebound traditionalist rationalize a great deal). The mild gains from the lower-friction laminate suits are offset by the difficulty in cooling that even the most breathable laminate causes. Direct assistance from powered laminate has been banned by a 9-2 ruling of the Toreian Pony Racing Council whose ruling read, in part, "ponygirl races are meant to determine who is the superior athlete, not who can throw the most money at developing experimental racing exoskeletons".
Freewomb Ponies Edit
While there are usually no laws forbidding freewombs from participating in pony competitions, the highest level athletes tend to be slaves. As a slave, a pony can focus strictly on training, while freewombs must support themselves. That said, a great many freewombs participate in local events as hobbyists, hoping to be recruited. Some have even made enough winnings to support themselves and train full time. Though rare, it isn't unheard of to see freewombs participating in worldwide competitions.