Bring on the Chariot Part Two! By Daniel Crider

In 2017 we moved up to a 4-horse team for the team events. All 4-horses were bred here at Sunset Mountain Miniatures and all 4 are related to each other. These 4 mares range in age from age 6 to age 11.

Lots of folks are interested in my armor. It is designed to match an authentic look of a Roman Centurion.

The Centurions and other commanders often wore a solid breastplate instead of the loricated (jointed) version of armor. They also had a red cape and a red plume on their helmet. All of the components of the armor were purchased from historical re-enactment websites and “Live Action Role Play” websites except for the cape. I had the cape custom made. I am wearing a red Roman Tunic (yes, you can see my legs!), sandals, a leather and steel-studed battle kilt, leather and steel vambraces (arm protectors), and the breast plate and helmet. The steel is 12-guage. The costume weighs over 50 pounds. The helmet weighs 15 pounds on its own. And yes, it is extremely hot. I probably lose 5 pounds every time I wear it.

Others have asked what is like to drive a chariot. When you start it is terrifying. Once you get used to it, and learn how to balance properly, it’s a blast. You actually have to slide around the turns. While driving the team of four you feel like Ben Hur in the movie. There is nothing like it! But it is dangerous. You need a well trained horse or horses. You need a solid chariot and a strong harness. And it certainly doesn’t hurt to be protected by steel and leather armor!

Last year, 2017, was my best year. I finally won Amateur Chariot with the 4-horse team using the Parade harness. And I won the Chariot Race with the Comfy Fit. My winning time beat the #2 horse by less than 1 second. Here is a picture from that race:

Why am I wearing the blue ribbon instead of my horse? Because (the picture does not show it) but my horse is prancing around rearin’ to go and ready for another race! As soon as this picture was snapped we took our victory lap — at a full gallop — and proceeded to gallop right out of the arena. This horse LIVES for SPEED!

This year we will, again, be competing in Single Roman Chariot and the Chariot Race with “Sunset Mountain Just Our Luck”. And we will be using the four-horse team (Sunset Mountain MoonDust, Sunset Mountain Painted Liberty, Sunset Mountain Blue Star Beauty, and Sunset Mountain Midnite Storm Dancer) in Amateur Roman Chariot and Team Roman Chariot.

Wish us luck!!

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