Horses competing in El Raid race in Jose Pedro Varela, Uruguay face 60 miles of paved road, a perilous journey for even the most resilient of animals. Running at an average speed on twenty miles per hour, the horses are followed by a rush of trucks, from which their handlers, known collectively as a “stud,” douse their steaming bodies with hose water. Dehydration, exhaustion, and overheating are very real dangers, and the animals are checked by veterinarians during a single hour’s rest period. Despite these precautions, horses are lost to the race; in the 2012 season, five Raid horses died.
As a newcomer to the White Lake, New York area in 2006, photographer Randy Harris made a point of exploring some of the region’s idiosyncrasies, and he ventured onto the location of his first ever demolition derby, where he immediately jumped into the fray.