On the eve of the race, Pelops
repaired to the sea-shore and earnestly implored Poseidon to assist him in his
perilous undertaking. The sea-god heard his prayer, and sent him out of the
deep a chariot drawn by two winged horses.
When Pelops appeared on the
course, the king at once recognized the horses of Poseidon; but, nothing
daunted, he relied on his own supernatural team, and the contest was allowed to
Whilst the king was offering
his sacrifice to Zeus Pelops set out on the race, and had nearly reached the
goal, when, turning round, he beheld Oenomaus, spear in hand, who, with his
magic steeds, had nearly overtaken him. But in this emergency Poseidon came to
the aid of the son of Tantalus. He caused the wheels of the royal chariot to
fly off, whereupon the king was thrown out violently, and killed on the spot,
just as Pelops arrived at the altar of Poseidon.
As the hero was about to return
to Pisa to claim his bride, he beheld, in the distance, flames issuing from the
royal castle, which at that instant had been struck by lightning. With his
winged horses he flew to rescue his lovely bride, and succeeded in extricating
her uninjured from the burning building. They soon afterwards became united,
and Pelops reigned in Pisa for many years in great splendour.