Sanlúcar de Barrameda Horse Races

Sanlúcar de Barrameda Horse Races
It celebrates: From 9th August to 11th August
Place: Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz)
Category: Tradition
Popularity: (***) 3/5
Ideal for children
Organize: Real Sociedad de Carreras de Caballos de Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz)
Known start date: Since 1845
Figure of protection: Festival of International Tourist Interest since 1997
HorsesSports CompetitionsInternational Tourist Interest
Reading time: 2 minutes and a half

In Sanlúcar de Barrameda, horse races are held annually during the month of August, a festival that has been declared of International Tourist Interest since 1997.

During the month of August, they are held in two cycles of three days each, always at dusk and taking advantage of the ample space left by the low tide on the beach. Each of these afternoons an average of 4 or 5 races are held daily, which correspond to their respective prizes.

For more information about the dates of each year, please visit the link (above) of the programme for each year.

The horse races are held at low tide
The horse races are held at low tide

The horse races on the beaches of Sanlúcar de Barrameda are part of the national circuit along with those held in San Sebastián, Seville and Mijas and are therefore subject to the rules that regulate official horse racing competitions.

What is the origin of the Sanlúcar Horse Races?

Horse races on the beach began to be held in 1845. They are now the oldest in Spain and one of the oldest equestrian activities in Europe.

There are several theories about the origin of the horse races on the beach of Sanlúcar. Some suggest that they may have originated in the dispute between the fishermen who fought to be the first to bring the fish to the area where it was sold.

Another version, perhaps the most correct, indicates that it was the members of Sanlúcar's high society who promoted this recreational activity.

What places to visit in Sanlúcar during the "Carreas de Caballos en la playa" festival?

Sanlúcar de Barrameda has an interesting monumental and environmental offer, where the Doñana Natural Area stands out.

You can follow the Sendero del Cerro del Águila trail, a 5 km circular route.

Other visits you can make are:

  • Ducal Palace of Medina Sidonia
  • Castle of Santiago
  • Permanent Exhibition of Sacred Art in the Church of Nuestra Señora de la O
  • Auditorium of La Merced
  • Las Covachas
  • Nuestra Señora de la Caridad Basilica
  • Parish Church of Santo Domingo
  • Church of San Jorge
  • Church of La Santísima Trinidad
  • Other convents, churches and historical buildings

Typical gastronomy of Sanlúcar

The typical dishes of Sanlúcar de Barrameda are all those whose ingredients include fish and seafood caught along its coastline and sold in its markets. The way they are cooked ranges from stews, to fried, scrambled, grilled, boiled, in salads, etc.

Without being able to avoid leaving some behind, we could talk about its famous prawns, which are usually served cooked; but also about shrimp omelettes, galley soup, steamed or with garlic, stews such as choco al pan frito or arroz a la marinera (rice with seafood).

We must not forget its wines. In Sanlúcar, the city's own wine is Manzanilla, but other wines from the Jerez denomination of origin are also produced, such as Amontillado, Pedro Ximenez or Palo Cortado.

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