“Tắm Ngựa’ (Bathing Horse) station – The Traces of peace

Formerly famous Saigon means chariot and horse racing games. Therefore, a well-known horse bathing station was born from very early to cater for the hobby horse of the French and also the busiest places south of this type of service.

“Tắm Ngựa’ (Bathing Horse) station

Ben Tam horse as well as many other neighbors crowded labor of all aspects of Saigon. Originally it was a poor neighborhood capital, countless roads diverged neighbors slit trouble than chess. And its fate as well as the working poor neighbors of the former Saigon, the development process has been eroded horse bathing station, washed away the memories of people from time to time.

According to literature, ancient, road in the Southern region undeveloped land, travel, transport mainly by boats. 1792, Lord Nguyen embankment road from Gia Dinh Thien Ly on spoon (Tien Giang), set the station position, station level for the horse to perform sophisticated tasks express the dry season, but they still used the rainy season boats dispatch boat to transfer papers.

When the French occupied the South, implementing policies of colonization, expansion of road transport, the horse gradually common use, but only in the elites and officials, while ordinary people still prefer to use Car buffalo, oxcart. French colonial Saigon, every alley, every corner, every tree has image reigns chariots. After 1881, the French government began amphibious transport operators

Vehicles equipped gradually towards mechanization, such as steam-powered ships, trains … The French in Vietnam, but the codes luxury cars. Such vehicles closed in Hong Kong Horse cars have very beautiful designs. Then there are more vehicles using two horses, sedan specialized work transfer papers and parcels. Car glass also in the high-end luxury vehicles most, two horses, rubber-coated cake smoother, prices should develop only the middle class and above use.
Meanwhile, ordinary men then dig their own manufacturing a carriage modeled on parallel models of the French code, called the chaise. This media type is preferred for very cheap. Despite the primitive facilities but workers coachman must know rules of the road and must pass the examination to register for carriage. On the chariot that time requires a bell, lights mounted gas fired two side stones.

Folk said that horse manure is toxic, who stepped on will be tetanus, so the bottom of the car must have bags of horse manure to not pollute the road, especially in inner city traffic. In early twentieth century, a carriage in the region Hoc Mon, Cu Chi, Thu Dau Mot … registration number in the thousands the
Since then the occupations related to horses and chariots developed in such shearing profession horse, plate, calming, crating, wheels … and many localities have berths Bathing horses, as horses are two berths Shower Many shores of Loc (HCMC). Back then, at the corner of Hai Thuong Lan Ong and Do Ngoc Thanh has a small canal (now filled in) of terminal called Bathing horse because the horse here chaise do Extra accommodation and horse.

Under the provisions of the French government, the people operating the service type of horse in horse’s dock Saigon Bath pay tax at that time was divided into grade levels. Specifically, the closed carriage and wagon repair birth standard taxable (ie license) Class 3 (60 brass in Saigon, Cholon, 30 copper in the province). Saddler and other items related to taxes horse No. 5 (15 brass in Saigon, Cholon, 10 contracts for the provinces) or lower than 6th.

The horse trade taxpayer 3rd class, class taxpayers shoe 5, 6 … Particularly in rent two-horse chariot kind, regardless of license class that only play 5 coins per year, more than 5-fold hand cars and wagon and double chaise. Also, in the village longer authorized surcharge levels per aircraft carriage ceiling is 2 / year, copper horse every child is 0.5 (on a total of rules that New Poetry composer Ernest Outrey – Tran Van Sooner translation – Saigon , Imprimerie commerciale C.Ardin 1913).
Only in memory

Former Saigon, with short distances Highway Code is located on the side named Tan Dinh, connected with the busy market area of ​​that time as Ben Thanh, Cholon, Cau Muoi … should each have a bus station Horse Fair. Around 1893, a group of French horse racing first association called “Saigon Equestrian Society” and build a racecourse in copper drills (now Cach Mang Thang Tam Street, District 10). Also during this period, in Go Cong, the French also give up a path around the pond for water to horse racing, so it was called pond racecourse. In My Tho, they do two-way and Round Round Small Large (now also famous for Round Small Market) is also used for horse racing. But this is an amateur race, for the French officer from Saigon to revel in the free weekend afternoon.

In 1932 a French racing enthusiasts have money to buy a land area nearly 35 hectares to build a new race (ie Phu Tho racecourse). Racetrack construction completed in 1936. On Phu Tho racecourse inauguration, organizers have opened the lottery racehorse (Cash sweep) ad hoc by lot, who caught the winning number Nhut racehorse of the jackpot is awarded. Total bonuses are calculated at the rate of 25% of the pre-sale visits. The horse race accordance charter must be held at Phu Tho racecourse. So at that time the Saturday and Sunday every week, people come racecourse large, many people down and out, debt because “seahorse”.

After 1954, the track is assigned to a Vietnamese man was Bui Duy Tien management. In 1960, the Executive Board of Phu Tho racecourse organizes classes “plea lang” for teenagers, each recruit class 20 good jockey. The training by the “plea old” experienced stand out thoroughly convey the cultural rules of horse racing, horse riding technique …
During the graduation ceremony, the “plea” to the temple right in the track to a sworn professional conscience when a horse rider. At that time racehorse in Phu Tho Racecourse is divided into four classes: A, B, C and D. Each class includes horse 3, 4 years and older. Each year the horse will be measured and ranked again. A good race horse must meet strict criteria as smooth-haired, broad chin, chest, arms and legs straight, nails stand. As a race, we have about 1,200 statistical horse racing participants. Including horse breeds, horses and ponies lay the horses racing in Saigon and surrounding provinces then about 4,000 children.

The main development of horses should peak at that time, the activities related to horse racing, horse trading, horse training and horse care are concentrated in terminals Bathing horse should this very busy area. Maybe so, but then, a large workforce had gathered here to work, to form a labor neighbors eat horse bathing station. Phu Tho Racecourse then horse racing cradle of Saigon. Its heyday was considered the largest racecourse, Second World Asia which dissipated upstream Southern Continent region frequented province.

However, Phu Tho racecourse operations discontinued in 1975, on 03/11/1989, Phu Tho Racecourse was revived under the name of Phu Tho sports club, featuring Ltd. Tian Ma to upgrade manage racecourse and equestrian activities, the profits for the average annual HCMC 24 billion. After some time the joint venture, to 6/2011, according to advocates of HCM City, Phu Tho Racecourse be converted to build training center and sports high performance HCMC.

Illustrious past of Phu Tho Racecourse closed now only in memories and service activities related to horses, horse activities Bathing terminals gradually impasse, perhaps so that the terminal Bath landmarks horse was lost long ago.

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