A Wild Cattieyote would be found in a wheelbarrow when taking part in the Great Arizona Cattieyote Wheelbarrow Race, surely one of the most stirring events on the sporting calendar. Once a year close to a hundred cowboys, ranchers and park rangers push wheelbarrows containing specially trained cattieyotes over a course that leads through half the length of the Grand Canyon and then up the steep ascending trails to the top. Far from seeing anything undignified in this, the cattieyotes, trained to this event over a period of months, seem to realise this is the pinnacle of their lives and sit in the barrows with a complete sang-froid and a superb self-possession amounting almost to hauteur - picture Queen Victoria in a pram or Charles De Gaulle being pushed in a supermarket trolley and you have something close to it. They remain perfectly immobile save when leaning into the corners or flattening their ears to cut down on wind-resistance over the straights. It is utterly inspiring to see man and beast in perfect harmony in this way; for the twist is, the men are all blindfolded and must rely on the cattieyotes' yelps, yowls, and occasional nervous mews to guide them along the trail and up the perilous switchbacks. At the end of day as the summit is conquered and the sun sets over the desert, the victorious animal is crowned with golden laurels and the entire pack are wheeled to the canyon edge and tipped over to plummet to their doom. It is a magnificent spectacle.
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