Horse racing on the beach

20 marzo 2007

Sanlúcar de Barrameda horse race, in Spain, is one of the oldest and strangest flat race meetings in the world. The races take place along the beach at the mouth of the river Guadalquivir every August. The racing track itself is the beach at low tide, along a length of approximately one kilometre.

The origin of these unique races goes back to around 1845 and they have been held every year, except for interruptions in war times. Participants are thoroughbreds not only from Spain, but also from France and the UK. Total prize money adds up to one million euros.

These were the first-ever regulated horse races in Spain. Riders wear colours and caps and the distances covered are 1500 and 1800 metres - similar to that of the flat race of the racing season in England, the Derby. The Andalusians breed some of the best bloodstock in the world and many big names in the racing world participate.

Other beach races

Horse races on beaches are celebrated in other places all around the world. Horse racing in the beach of Laytown, in Ireland, is also very well known. It is said that it was the parish priest who organised the first race meeting on Laytown in 1876. Here you can see some pictures opf Ireland races, and two videos, the last one is from Auckland, New Zealand.

More info: 1, 2, 3, 4 y 5