Today we took a day trip to the White Turf event in St Moritz, in south eastern Swiss canton of Graubunden. The frozen lake of St Moritz has played host to White Turf since 1907 and is a truly wonderful and unique setting any todays 6 race card. It's kinda hard to imagine a race-course on a frozen lake surrounded by beautiful Alpine scenery. But if anyone can do it - the Swiss can do it.
Todays card is made up of 3 gallops, 2 trots and a ski-joring event. The gallops and trots are as they are on the usual "green turf." The real highlight and feature race is the ski-joring.
Skijoring is a highly exciting race derived from the Scandanavian sport of Pulka. For this 2,200 meter race the rider of the horse is on skis behind the horse while the gallops round the course twice. Ski-joring is fast and furious and the riders very close to each others horses. Round the corners is the most exciting and most dangerous. The speed and ferocity of race and the bravery of the riders is quite remarkable. How riders can be so close to each other, keep their balance on skis going so fast with the ice being thrown up in to their faces is quite beyond me.
Whats so amazing about the whole event, the galloping, the skijoring and the trotting is the setting. A frozen lake in the mountains with horse racing under the bright sun and blue skies. Frankly, there aren't many better ways to spend an Feburary afternoon in Switzerland. Simply marvellous.
This time round, we did a day trip to St Moritz from Zürich We took the train at 08:37 from Zürich and changed trains in Chur to the Rhätische Bahn train to St Moritz as there is no direct train from Zürich to St Moritz.
If you're doing this as a day trip, the cheapest ticket from is the 9-Hour pass which is valid all day on the Sunday. The 9-hour pass is 108 Francs full price or 54 francs with the half-fare card. If you're going down for the whole weekend, a straight return from Zürich to St Moritz is 138 Francs or 69 Francs with the half-tax card.
White Turf - Colin Keane rides Duchess Andorra to victory - Duchess Andorra winning at White Turf riden by Colin Keane
St Moritz - Gallops at White Turf - Gallop race at White Turf on the frozen lake of St Moritz in the Swiss Alps
St Moritz - gallops at White Turf - Gallop racing at White Turf on Lake St Moritz
St Moritz - Jockey at White Turf - A gallops jockey at White Turf at St Moritz
St Moritz - Skijöring at White Turf - Skijöring at White Turf on the frozen lake of St Moritz in the Swiss Alps
St Moritz - The Trots - Trotting race at the St Moritz White Turf event 2013
St Moritz - gallops at White Turf - Gallop racing on the frozen lake of St Moritz at the annual White Turf
St Moritz - Skijöring at White Turf - Skijöring on the lake of St Moritz during the annual White Turf events.
St Moritz - White Turf trotter - Racer at the trotting event at the White Turf event at St Moritz
St Moritz - White Turf trotting race - Trotting race on the frozen Lake of St Moritz
Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook