Racing on Ice – experience the thrills and spills of White Turf
Issue 8 / 24 October 2018
Racing on Ice – experience the thrills and spills of White Turf

Experience the thrills and spills of White Turf in the exclusive resort of St. Moritz

Serena Norton

On three Sundays in February, over 35,000 spectators flock to the frozen expanse of Lake St. Moritz to witness an 112-year-old horse racing event on ice known as ‘White Turf.’ In this magnificent alpine setting, visitors and locals alike enjoy a mix of flat races, trotting races and skijoring, where men on skis are pulled along a 2,700-metre track by thoroughbreds at speeds of up to 50 km/h - a sport not for the faint-hearted!

With prize monies totalling approximately half a million Swiss francs, it is no surprise to see racehorse trainers, owners and jockeys attracted to this prestigious event from all around the world. Races are run over different distances, from 1300 metres to 2700 metres, with the first race scheduled for 11.30am and the last at 15.00pm.

The circular track is formed from compacted snow on top of the frozen lake and horses have studs fitted to their shoes to help them grip. The thoroughbreds normally head out to St. Moritz around two weeks before the race day to help them acclimatise to the cold weather, and jockeys wear balaclavas under their helmets and ski goggles to help protect their faces from the kickback of snow and ice.

Attracting reputable sponsors including Credit Suisse, BMW, and Longines, there really is no event anywhere else like it worldwide which is why it is on so many people’s bucket lists. Visitors can enjoy a flutter whilst cheering on their favourite horse from the sidelines and being entertained by many thrills and spills along the way.

Aside from the horse racing, White Turf is very much a social event. Visitors can enjoy gourmet catering, champagne on ice, live music, art exhibitions and designer shopping.

If you are thinking of visiting White Turf (on the 3rd, 10th or 17th February 2019) then do take a look at our collection of luxury chalets in St. Moritz. We are also able to provide you with the ultimate VIP experience where you will be wined and dined as well as getting the inside track on the runners and riders and meeting some of the famous trainers and jockeys taking part.

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