Thursday, July 14, 2005

All set for new Season of thoroughbred spectacle

Sanlucar de Barrameda horse races

Sanlucar de Barrameda horse races start from August 1st 2005The glorious spectacle of thoroughbred horses racing on the beach will be with us once again shortly as the 160th edition of the Sanlucar de Barrameda races gets underway.

A tradition which dates back to the days of the Peninsular War and was probably borrowed from the British, organised racing has actually been taking place in Sanlucar since 1845, making it by some distance the oldest racing event in the entire Iberian peninsula.

The races take place this year over a period of six days, from August 1st to the 3rd and then from the 16th to the 18th.

The selection of dates is not done on a whim, it is calculated according to the tides to ensure the beach is at its optimum for this type of racing.

Held under the aegis of the “Sociedad de Carreras de Caballos de Sanlucar de Barrameda”, recent years have seen the races going from strength to strength.

Participation, both in terms of stables and jockeys, has a truly international flavour – last year’s event saw entries from the United Kingdom, the United States, Argentina, Ireland and, naturally, Spain to name but a few.

Quite apart from its unique setting the Sanlucar races are also part of the official racing calendar in Spain (Sanlucar is one of only four approved courses in Spain) and attract great interest from the racing, breeding and betting fraternities.

As if anything else was needed the evening is party time for everyone with music, drinking and dancing going on late into the night – or early into the morning!

For those with more sedate tastes the area around Sanlucar boasts some of the finest restaurants, specialising in seafood, in the whole of Andalucia.

Sanlucar is a mere kilometres away from Gibraltar and for those of us who hanker after the long-lost days at our own Victoria Racecourse it is the most convenient way in which to lap up the magic of the horseracing atmosphere. Those who are may well be surprised at the beauty which can accompany the excitement of racing. The sight of these magnificent animals striving for victory with a backdrop of the sun setting into the Atlantic is an unforgettable experience.

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