Gentlemen, this will be a fair race. No shooting, stabbing, cliff-pushing, rock-throwing, cactus-grinding, neck-lassoing, setting fires, or other acts that causes a rider to unfairly lose his way, nor bleed heavily or black out. Get yourselves ready.

Clay Pettiford, race announcer

The Sport of Kings, and Liars is the eighteenth mission in Red Dead Redemption.

To view the mission tree, see:

Main article: Missions in Redemption/Tree


Mr. West Dickens persuades John to follow him to Rathskeller Fork to use John's riding skills to win a race. He'll use the money John earns from winning to "outfit" his stagecoach for the assault on Fort Mercer.


Mission Prerequisites

Before this mission becomes available, the player must complete:

Mission Objectives

To complete this mission, the player must:

Mission Description

Meet Nigel West Dickens in Cueva Seca, and he will inform the player that he will be ready to take on Bill Williamson, however he requires more money. He will drive you to a race with seven other contestants, in Rathskeller Fork, of which he has placed a wager on. It is a long and difficult race (unless you have the war horse or another good horse), and the other competitors will attempt to push you off the course, so come prepared with five horse pills. You must come in first place and if not you will fail the mission.

Mission Dialogues

Main article: The Sport of Kings and Liars/dialogues

Mission Failure

The mission will fail if the player:

  • Assaults, kills or abandons Nigel West Dickens
  • Abandons the race.
  • Kills the horses pulling Nigel's wagon (also known as wrecking the wagon)
  • Assaults or kills any racing opponents
  • Kills any racing horse (including his own)
  • Assaults or kills any spectators
  • Does not win the race
  • Breaks the law
  • Kills a dog
  • Commits vandalism
  • Assaults or kills townsfolk
  • Dies

Gold Medal Objectives

  • Fastest Time: 4:55

Mission Complete Unlockables

Tips and Tricks

  • Try to spur your horse just to keep it on maximal speed. Don't overdo it since that will most of the time result into getting bucked off.
  • Stock up on horse pills and apples prior to the mission and use these to keep the boost for a longer time.
  • Keep on the road: When the player keeps their horse on the various roads and trails, the horse will achieve a much higher base speed. The color of the horse's stamina meter (left side of radar) changes when on roads as an indicator (brighter is better).
  • At the very end of the race, where you can see the finish marker, you can run up the hill and cut off the others. It works very well.
  • If your honor is really low and you have the Dark Horse, it can barely catch up to the others, so it's best to lasso a wild horse on the way to the race or before entering the race.
  • If you manage to keep the Kentucky Saddler from the mission "Wild Horses, Tamed Passions" you can easily outrun the other riders.
  • Contrary to popular thinking, one is not constricted to the binary consideration of EITHER the DLC powerhouse War-Horse, or the Kentucky Saddler. Simply by experimenting with map physics in liminal areas as "camp saves" (i.e., under a tree near the New Austin Tanner Span area directly outside one's narrative starting-point Bonnie's ranch, permitting accession of West Elizabeth and its resources; in the other case, a few gentle paces into the waters next to the lower section of Frontera Bridge, allowing transportation from New Austin into Mexico; returning from Mexico back to New Austin, carefully treading the Ramita de la Baya bridge and camp saving near its Rio Bravo portion), the player can obtain, without any sort of unethically-flavored game-tampering or cheating, the other two specifically ultra-"elite" horse breeds immediately after the game begins: the American Standardbred and the Hungarian Half-bred. These little-known possibilities clearly offer definitive comparative advantages in this context: ultimately, player style, preference and skill determines the matter, and the race can be won, leaving others in the dust, even with ostensibly "mediocre" horse breeds as long as one paces the energy output properly and rides as intelligently as possible. At bottom, only the organically disturbed horse types are inevitable failures.
  • Be careful when riding your horse to the race at the start of the mission, since the area between Cueva Seca and Rathskeller Fork is a common spawning point for Cougars, which will kill your horse, and eventually you, if they spot you.
  • If you have the War Horse DLC, this is a great time to use it. The War Horse, being nearly as fast as the American Standardbred and having equal stamina, can easily leave the other competitors in the dust. However, individual inclinations and other factors make next to every possible horse selection viable: the Hungarian Half-bred (see above) performs surprisingly well here, and the higher tier of middling class horse breeds behave likewise - e.g., the Quarter Horses and the Pintos, only to name a few subtly superior two-star choices: still, indeed, the War Horse and the (if licitly, but unconventionally, obtained) American Standardbred are for the vast majority of players, the best options: the Standardbred is an almost guaranteed victory unless chaotically falling into watery death, suffering animal mauling somehow, etc.


  • Interestingly, apart from the three racing missions given to the player during the story ("Obstacles in Our Path", "Liars, Cheats and Other Proud Americans", "The Sport of Kings, and Liars"), the opportunity to race never presents itself again in single player. However, racing is available in the Grand Prix multiplayer game mode as part of the Liars and Cheats DLC.
  • One of the horse racers is Charlie Mash, a member of the Bollard Twins Gang. Interestingly, the player cannot harm him in any way. If he is shot during the race, it does not count as a Bollard kill and the mission is failed. Alfie Scruggs of Walton's Gang also takes part in the race but the same rules apply for him.
  • The title of the mission refers to the fact that horse racing has long been called "The sport of kings," a phrase originating in the British nobility's enjoyment of the sport.
  • There is a glitch that can be done just before the start of the race. If Marston enters the area where the other riders are waiting on foot, and points a gun at one of them, he may cause them to walk away and leave their horse behind. If the player then walks up to the side of the abandoned horse and presses the 'Climb Up' button, Marston will go through an animation of holding the horse's reigns and petting it with his hand, in a similar fashion to what the other NPC racers are doing. This can be repeated multiple times.
  • The Race Announcer uses the same character model as Clay Pettiford.
  • If the player is quick enough, you can actually ride shotgun on West Dickens' wagon. This will not effect gameplay in any way, apart from the fact that you don't have to ride to Rathskeller Fork as West Dickens' will drive the wagon for you.


Video Walkthroughs


Completing this mission contributes toward the following Trophy/Achievement:

100 gamerscoreGamerscore
Gold goldGold
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.

Red Dead Redemption mission walkthroughs
New Austin Chapter
"Exodus in America""New Friends, Old Problems""Obstacles in Our Path""This is Armadillo, USA""Women and Cattle""Wild Horses, Tamed Passions""A Tempest Looms""The Burning"
"Political Realities in Armadillo""Justice in Pike's Basin""Spare the Rod, Spoil the Bandit""Hanging Bonnie MacFarlane""The Assault on Fort Mercer"
"Old Swindler Blues""You Shall Not Give False Testimony, Except for Profit""Liars, Cheats and Other Proud Americans""Can a Swindler Change His Spots?""The Sport of Kings, and Liars"
"Exhuming and Other Fine Hobbies""A Gentle Drive with Friends""Let the Dead Bury Their Dead"
"A Frenchman, a Welshman and an Irishman""Man is Born Unto Trouble""On Shaky's Ground""We Shall Be Together in Paradise"
New AustinNuevo ParaisoWest ElizabethMarston RanchRemember My Family
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