Caribbean Horse Racing: Enjoy a Day at the Races, Island Style
The yearly running of the Kentucky Derby often reminds me of a quote from Nat King Cole:
The only sport I’m not interested in is horse racing. That’s because I don’t know the horses personally.
Unfamiliarity with the horses may be the case at big time races like the The Derby, but not in the West Indies. A day at Caribbean horse racing events guarantees closer access to the action than you’ve ever enjoyed before.
Grandstands are practically on top of the tracks. Riders and owners mingle freely amongst the crowds. It’s impossible to avoid getting to know each and every horse… uhh… personally.
When and Where to Experience Caribbean Horse Racing
To be a part of the excitement, one of the best days for Caribbean horse racing is Boxing Day. Or as it’s known in the States, “The Day After Christmas.” The best islands for racing fun are Barbados, the Dominican Republic (at Rancho San Antonio), Jamaica (at Caymanas Race Track), Puerto Rico (at the Hipodromo Camarero), Trinidad (at Santa Rosa), and (only on this list due to our own bias) St. Croix!
On a recent Boxing Day, I was lucky enough to be in Barbados. Naturally, I made a point to visit the Barbados Turf Club at the historic Garrison Savannah. Located just east of Bridgetown, this storied patch of land has been hosting horse races since 1845! To put things in perspective, Churchill Downs didn’t open its doors until 30 years later in 1875!
So what can you expect from a day of Caribbean Horse Racing in Barbados?
Well, between the rum drinking, horse mingling, pudding and souse eating, betting and cheering, I tried to grab some video to give you can idea. (I got a little excited towards the end, but that was due to all the
rum excitement!) Take a look:
In the case of Barbados, there are approximately 25 race meetings throughout the year. The schedule runs from January to April (Spring Season); May to September (Summer Season); and from November to December (Winter Season). So you’d be hard-pressed to visit the island when there’s no racing going on at all.
Visit the Barbados Turf Club online for more information.
I’ll see you at the races!