• A brave and almost certainly drunk horse rider from 'Drunken Horse Racing'. (SBS)Source: SBS
It may seem impossible, but there are even worse things to do while intoxicated than racing horses.
Rob Hunter

12 Oct 2017 - 10:15 AM  UPDATED 13 Oct 2017 - 4:26 PM

Getting drunk and doing foolish things is a cherished tradition in almost every culture, with Drunken Horse Racing providing a funny and fascinating insight into an historic Guatemalan custom in which participants spend days drinking alcohol, then ride horses back and forth along a race track.

To those unaware of the historical significance, this may seem like a terrible idea because ordinarily it definitely is. But there are certain activities that pose an even greater risk of danger when intoxicated that we should all do our best to avoid.


Telling your boss what you really think

Every disgruntled employee dreams of unleashing a tirade of pent-up home truths upon an overbearing employer. Unfortunately, though it may be potentially satisfying in the short term to call your boss various accurate insults, being drunk increases the possibility of saying something that could be cause for dismissal. As a result, when your hangover wears off, you will almost certainly regret your decisions.


Arguing with your significant other after losing your job

When drunk, we are all at risk of saying hurtful things we don’t really mean. Sure, losing your job after an inebriated outburst can be stressful and sometimes you wish your partner would just show you some damn support, but drunken arguments are rarely helpful and can potentially result in the end of a relationship.


Robbing a bank after realising your money troubles are worse than first thought

Being newly single and unemployed can be tough, but bank robbery is a serious crime that should not be advocated under any circumstances. Still, if you are intent on robbing a bank for whatever reason, being as sober as possible is in your best interests since it's a notoriously difficult task.


Fleeing the crime scene

Few of us can claim to have never committed a serious criminal offence, but robbing a bank and fleeing the scene is almost universally frowned upon. This is especially true while drunk, as you increase the risk of falling or crashing your getaway horse.


Soliciting the criminal underworld to create a false identity for your new life in Guatemala

After a series of embarrassing drunken indiscretions, obtaining a new identity may seem highly appealing, but despite the exciting lifestyle often portrayed in movies, members of the criminal underworld are a notoriously shifty bunch. That being said, if you simply must engage with the Mob, being drunk is not at all advised – they are not a community known for their patience or sense of humour when it comes to professional dealings.


Skipping out on an underworld debt

Though the tradition of drunken horse racing has been known to be deadly, welching on a Mob debt can be equally concerning, with the addition of drunkenness no doubt adding to potential feelings of disrespect and subsequent retaliation. Paying for services rendered is always the best option, particularly if you want to keep your thumbs and kneecaps intact.


Spending your life hiding in Guatemala in constant fear. Never at rest. Never at peace.

Boy, this all got a bit out of hand, didn’t it? Getting drunk may seem like the only feasible option at this point, but if you wish to have any chance of survival, keeping your wits about you is vital, because rest assured, someone is coming for you. Soon.


Participants in Drunken Horse Racing are keenly aware of the associated risks and accept the potential danger as a means of honouring their ancestors in what is a highly revered and meaningful tradition. Still, there are times when you just wish you never got drunk, lost your job, robbed a bank or fled from the Mob.

As such, though tradition can be important and beautiful in many ways, sometimes sobriety may be the safest option. And if anyone has any spare cash and can donate to the fund to bring a drunken Mob-hunted criminal safely home from Guatemala, please get in touch with SBS.


Watch Drunken Horse Racing at SBS On Demand:

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