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Alain Schroeder, 2019 Incredible Sport Category Winner

Alain Schroeder's incredible sport photo from last year could easily have been entered into the travel category. In fact, Alain always seems to be travelling and last year his travels took him to Sumbawa, Indonesia.

"I wanted to show the unique features of Sumbawa racing, which are the notoriously small horses and fearless child jockeys, aged 5-10, who mount bareback, barefoot and with little protective gear. Racing at speeds of up to 80 kph, their only protection is the 'Sandro', a spiritual healer who protects young jockeys by performing elaborate rituals and guiding them in training.

"Maen Jaran (the Indonesian name of the game) takes place during important festivals and holidays throughout the year at racetracks across the island and remains a favourite pastime for Sumbawans. Rules have evolved, horses are now classified by age and height, yet kid jockeys continue to risk their lives for $5 to $10 per mount, often racing five to six times a day, pushed by parents and relatives because the potential earnings far outweighed the poor returns on their crops."

Alain was a documentary photographer for 40 years and spent 25 years as the director of Reporters, one of the leading Belgian photo agencies. Today in retirement, he continues to follow his passions around the world with his camera.

"I'm most interested in the in-depth reporting of stories relating to people and their environment. Cultures, modes of living, rituals and customs have always fascinated me."

Alain used a Fujifilm X-Pro2, shot at ISO 1600 which when converted to black and white in post-production, gave him the grainy feeling he wanted.

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