A jockey rides two bulls with a cart during the bull race locally called "pacu jawi" in Pariangan of Tanah Datar regency in West Sumatra. Image Credit: AFP

Pariangan, Indonesia: Waves of muddy water slosh over the jockey as he hangs on to the tails of a pair of bulls galloping across the rice paddy. It's a wet-and-wild ride in this remote pocket of Indonesia's Sumatra island, where traditional bull racing known as Pacu Jawi is serious business.

A jockey riding bulls with a cart during the bull race locally called "pacu jawi" in Pariangan. Image Credit: AFP
A jockey riding two bulls with a cart during the bull race locally called "pacu jawi" in Pariangan. Image Credit: AFP

The centuries-old races once heralded the end of rice harvesting season when the emerald paddies had been cleared.

A jockey riding bulls with carts during the traditional sport bull race locally called "pacu jawi" in Pariangan. Image Credit: AFP

Nowadays, hundreds turn up to cheer on fearless jockeys who can net a bull worth as much as 15 million rupiah ($1,050) if they win a month-end tournament - a princely prize in a country where many live on a few dollars a day.

People watching as jockeys riding bulls during a traditional bull race locally called "pacu jawi" in Pariangan. Image Credit: AFP

The rules are simple. Jockeys grab on to the bulls' tails and race one at a time down the paddy as fast as they can. Sometimes a pre-race bite to the tail gets the animals in a galloping mood. Riders have to stay upright for the 250 metre race or it's all over. Injuries are part of the job.

A jockey bites the tail of a bull to motivate it during the race locally called "pacu jawi" in Pariangan. Image Credit: AFP
Two jockeys riding bulls during the traditional bull race locally called "pacu jawi" in Pariangan. Image Credit: AFP

While animal racing can be seen in other parts of the vast Indonesian archipelago - including buffalo racing in holiday hotspot Bali - locals in West Sumatra insist their version is one-of-a-kind.

Two jockeys riding bulls during the traditional race locally called "pacu jawi" in Pariangan. Image Credit: AFP