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Help me identify this race clip...(10 posts)

Help me identify this race clip...JBurton
Apr 22, 2002 5:00 PM
In the movie "Amelie" (you know, French, subtitled, cute), the main character gives a tape of a bike race to a sickly man whom she befriends. The clip is very short. A peleton is riding next to a horse's fence. Evidently, the horse mistakes the peleton for his herd come to rescue him from his captivity. The horse's enthusiasm is such that he races along the fence beside the group. Riders are looking and pointing and apparently laughing mightily. When the end comes (of the fence) he jumps it and joins his liberating "herd", running along as happy as ever. He isn't rambunctious at all, he's just running along with the rest of the "horses".

Anyone seen this clip before? I can't tell if it is old or new since there are no close-ups. The resolution is pretty high, so I'd say it is at least from the late eighties.

Does this sort of thing happen often with horses and cattle? I've had my share of dogs after me...even came close to hitting a deer once (or rather, close to having a deer run me over)...but no horses.
that was a great clip...i have no ideaishmael
Apr 22, 2002 5:17 PM
it moved me....i wonder how the horse would fare against the peleton
Don't know the clip butMcAndrus
Apr 23, 2002 4:14 AM
I think it was the 2000 Gent-Wevelgem where a horse broke out of it's fenced pasture and collided with Erik Zabel.
I don't know the clip, but the horse thing. . .Mike P
Apr 23, 2002 4:28 AM
I can recall 3 times recently I have been riding and noticed a horse (or 3) running along with me; on the other side of the fence of course. The first time I noticed this I was riding a metric century a couple years ago, my first, and I was about dead. Anyway, I was about to be shot out the back of the group I was trying to ride with and I looked over and saw this horse run up next to us. He looked so happy to have someone to run with. Maybe the other horses were lazy American horses. Inspired me to keep up with the group for a few miles more, then I got shot out the back.

I have seen it a few time, some TdF stage, but no precision (nm)tempeteKerouak
Apr 23, 2002 7:21 AM
One of the best experiences cycling...Brooks
Apr 23, 2002 8:43 AM
was during a transcontinental tour (SF to Boston)in '78. Riding in the dusk of a warm evening in the rolling hills of Montana, a pair of horses decided to run along the fence near my sister and me. This fence and the accompaniment went on for a couple of miles until an intersecting fence pulled them up short. Just a magical experience.

horses are scared of bikesishmael
Apr 23, 2002 9:40 AM
ive run into horses a couple of different times in the past when i mountain biked and sometimes they would bug out...they dont seem to be understand that its just a machine with a human on it and instead think its some strange new beast...ive had to get off the bike and walk a large distance around horses at least once..
horses yes, cattle no and here's whylonefrontranger
Apr 23, 2002 10:40 AM
I grew up on a horse farm and showed hunter/jumper horses and Quarter Horses from toddlerhood thru my early twenties.

I've seen the movie clip in question, and this type of thing has happened periodically through the history of bike racing. Don't know the origin of the clip, but here's why horses will run "with", chase or shy away from bikes.

Reason #1: horses are a herd animal. A pack of bikes to them looks like a herd to run around with.

Reason #2: some horses (particularly "cow-savvy" Quarter Horses) have either a very strong herding/hunting instinct, or (particularly Thoroughbred type racing breeds) a very strong competitive racing instinct. This has been selectively bred into them for generations. They really get into the game of chasing things that "run away", whether it's herding instinct or racing instinct that triggers them. So some horses will run along with, or even try to "win" against a field of bikes for the sheer joy of doing what they were bred for.

Reason #2 is why you'd better never get caught riding bootleg on closed MTB trails with mounted patrols in service. You are never going to beat the horse - he can bushwhack way better than you, has far more endurance, can hear you 2 miles away, and he thinks it's the biggest fun game ever invented to catch you.

Reason #3: some horses are just plain scared sh!tless of bikes (dogs, tractors, gravel piles, dump trucks, sheep, tree stumps, puddles, ad infinitum...) because they have never been properly introduced and acclimatized to these or other "potential predator" objects or noises. These are typically the horses the spoiled rich people who know nothing about equine psychology own. They then take these unconditioned nutzos out on multi-user trails where they'll encounter bikes and any number of other scary circumstances, thus creating havoc for all parties involved.

Cows have been domesticated for much longer than horses, hence their survival instincts are pretty muted. The ones you see grazing in pastures are bred for essentially one use, and speed and brains don't factor into that equation. Young "wild" ones might run away from bikes, but typically you just get that liquid bovine stare from the opposite side of the fence.

The coolest experience I ever had was the club ride we did in Dayton, OH that habitually went past a Borzoi (Russian Wolfhound) breeder. In warm weather, they kept their dogs out in big well-fenced exercise pens that ran along our route. Borzois are beautiful silky-haired dogs bred as "sight-hounds"; high-speed coursers like whippets or greyhounds. They also rarely bark. The sight of a dozen or so of these magnificent animals effortlessly and silently gliding along the fence in synch with our group was breathtaking.
Sounds like it was made for the movie...timfire
Apr 23, 2002 1:06 PM
Though I haven't see the movie, it sounds like the scene was likely filmed for the film, and not a real race.

--Timothy Kleinert
re: Help me identify this race clip...Iseemo
Apr 24, 2002 2:25 PM
I saw this movie awhile back and did a similar post. I think your guess is correct - and that's what I was thinking, it was from the late or mid-80's. It's definitley real footage and I'm reasonably sure it's from the Tour, just not sure what year. I kept thinking I saw a La Vie Claire jersey, but I'm not positive.
I think the horse was trying to get away from the helicopter that was shooting the footage.

But...I was most interested in the older black/white footage of bike racing in the movie, know what years that was from?