Little people defend 'Little Cup' race

Oct. 13, 2009 at 3:47 PM
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MELBOURNE, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Australian dwarfs who took part in the "Little Cup," a race in which they dressed as jockeys and rode piggy-back on big people, say it was a "bit of fun."

All three dwarfs who participated were paid actors, the Melbourne Herald Sun reported.

"We were dressed as characters, which were jockeys, to be out there and have a bit of fun, entertain and do our job as an actor," said Jeremy Hallam, who calls himself the "People's Dwarf."

The Little Cup was held Sunday as part of the running of the Cranbourne Cup at Cranbourne Racecourse near Melbourne. It has been criticized by everyone from Victorian Premier John Brumby, who described it as "hurtful to a number of people," down.

Racing Minister Rob Hulls suggested the event would hurt Melbourne's Spring Racing Carnival.

"I'm surprised that in the 21st century people still think this is the best way to promote a world-class event," he said. "We want to get people to come to regional Victoria, we want to get people to the Spring


Debra Connors, who placed second in the race, said she had fun and would do the Little Cup again. Arti Penn, who won in spite of a fall from his mount, agreed.

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