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Photographer's Note

One is drawn like a magnet to the beaches of Normandy, where history mingles with recreation. There are over 300 miles of coastline in Normandy, and the beaches are well used. I stood mesmerized one cloudy morning by these two men racing their chariots up and down Omaha Beach, oblivious to everything except the euphoria of the fresh sea air, the spray from pools of water on the sand, and the joy of the moment.

There is a strong tradition of horse racing here. It was on the beach at Collignon, in Cherbourg, that the first trotting race occurred on September 25, 1836. The concept caught fire in 1837 when Caen held racing events at the Hippodrome de la Prairie, which is still considered by many to be the springboard for the Vincennes race track near Paris. Normandy also breeds some of the finest horses in Europe. The region has some 6000 horse breeding estates, of which 2000 are dedicated to trotters. But for these two seasoned racers, there was simply speed, spray, and the sea.

Another view appears in the WS.

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Additional Photos by John Cherrington (john_c) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4079 W: 52 N: 5746] (24666)
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