Hold it right there, outlaw!
This article is littered with spoilers, so I reckon you might ought'a mosey on down the road if you don't want to read any plot details.

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 PrerequisitesEdit

Before this mission becomes available, the player must complete:

Mission ObjectivesEdit

To complete this mission, the player must:

Mission DescriptionEdit

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 DialoguesEdit

Main article: The Sport of Kings and Liars/dialogues

Mission FailureEdit

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

Mission Complete UnlockablesEdit

Tips and TricksEdit

  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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 WalkthroughsEdit

Achievement Edit

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