Sunday, September 11, 2016

Dubois Chariot Races

Some of you will remember my talking about Betty, the chariot-racing waitress that we met in Dubois, Wyoming in 2012. Well, the reason for the timing of our recent trip West was to see Betty race on August 13. If you haven't read (or don't remember) my previous posts about Betty, you can read about her chariot racing here and here and about her packhorse racing here

Betty was in the first race on this day, so I had no time to practice my chariot-racing photography. I learned which side of the track Betty would be on and positioned myself near the finish line on that side. The next four photos are of that race. Betty is driving the team with the one white horse. 




This picture almost makes it look as if Betty won her race, but she didn't.

Betty, returning to the track after getting her team stopped, with the help of the outriders.

A scene from the second race of the day

This is Betty's husband, John, winning the third race.

My camera was on the wrong setting during John's race, so the above photo is taken from the video that Doug shot.

John was away out in front of his competitor.

This photo is from Doug's video, as the competitors in the fourth race leave the starting gate.

A scene from the fourth race

Following is a set of five short video clips from this day of racing. The first clip is of Betty's race. The second is of the second race. The third is of John's race. The fourth shows the outriders trying to catch John's team at the end of his race. And the fifth shows the fourth race.

I apologize for the shakiness on a couple of these clips. Doug had zoomed way in, and it's hard to keep the image steady at full zoom. If you can get past the first few seconds of the clips, though, it settles down.

In the years since we first met Betty, we've stayed in touch and even reconnected once in Dubois. But we'd never really had an opportunity to sit down and talk with her and had never met John. This time, though, the four of us found time to go out for supper together and get better acquainted. That was even more special than seeing John and Betty race.

Thanks for supper, John and Betty. Your friendship has enriched our lives.


  1. Hard to catch that action, they keep moving out of frame.Great captures and nice to have made such wonderful friends

  2. yes, i remember you talking about them. how very nice that you went to watch them race and got to spend some time with them, too.

  3. You got great shots of all the action.

  4. Beautiful footage and images of this event, Linda! The horses are beautiful!

  5. How fun! Great photos and I loved the videos.
    Thank you for sharing, Linda.

  6. great fun adn I loved all the video clips of the action

  7. Thanks for the photos and videos of the chariot races. I enjoyed all of them. I'm glad you got a chance to spend some time with Betty and her husband.

  8. Wonderful captures, Linda, I love them all. You did a great job! The images and videos from Doug's camera add to the story for sure.
    May I ask what shutter speed you chose for the running horses?

  9. Thanks, Steve. The action IS fast, but the continuous-shooting mode was a huge help in keeping up with it.

    Tex - We've been wanting to see them race since we first learned about the sport. We were grateful for the opportunity to get there for this one. The evening out together was the icing on the cake.

    Thank you, Ruth.

    I'm glad you enjoyed this, Linda. I thought the horses were beautiful, too.

    Thanks, Toni. I hope you found it worth the wait. :)

    Thank you, Margaret. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Thanks, George. I love having Doug shoot video, especially when the action is as fast as it is in a chariot race. I'll let him know his work is appreciated.

    Petra - Your praise means a lot to me. Thanks. I shot the first two races on shutter priority at 1/1250 of a second. Somehow, before John's race, the setting dial got moved to Program mode, which was set to 1/200 second. I didn't notice it until looking at the photos afterward and noticing that they were blurry. The ones coming toward me and moving away from me weren't too bad, but the straight-on shots weren't good at all. The fourth race was shot at 1/1000 of a second. The horses are moving at about 45 miles per hour (72 kph).


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