BBVA in Switzerland | 13 January, 2020

Horse racing in the Swiss Alps

Thaís Lino Cardoso Business Development

White Turf: the most eagerly anticipated date of the Swiss Winter

When the cold and snow arrive in St. Moritz, a small and quiet town of around 5,000 inhabitants located in the Swiss Alps, the city changes itself. One of the most critical events in Switzerland’s luxury calendar arrives the White Turf, a horse-racing meeting on the city’s frozen lake.

The most elegant ski resort in Europe becomes the destination for celebrities and VIPs from around the world, who urge on the thoroughbred horses that gallop on the ice, which in normal conditions would be the crystalline blue lake of St. Moritz.

Residents and tourists, significant personalities from the world of culture, business and politics, racehorse owners, trainers and jockeys: together they create a unique atmosphere that makes the White Turf an unforgettable social and sporting occasion.

The White Turf event

Since 1907 the White Turf has been attracting the most competitive thoroughbred horses in Europe. The 2020 edition of the event will be held on the first three Sundays of February, the 2nd, 9th and 16th, which is the day of the tournament’s grand finale, when the overall winner will receive the title of “King of the Engadine”. While the animals gallop, visitors enjoy snacks such as oysters, champagne, caviar and seafood, in the tents set up for the occasion.

The frozen lake of St. Moritz

In the winter, the lake of St. Moritz, which is about 44 metres deep, freezes and forms an ice layer of up to 80 cm, with an additional 40 cm of snow above.

For the White Turf event, the lake area is carefully prepared to receive the horses. Its surface is levelled by bulldozers to compact the snow on the ice and ensure the safety of animals. The horses are also specially catered for: their usual horseshoes are replaced by ones specially adapted for ice; they are also given a layer of silicone, which prevents the snow from adhering to their hooves.

Do you love horses?

During the event, the horses in a race can cover distances of up to 1,700 m. The tracks are divided into different disciplines: galloping and trotting, equestrian competitions and the particular category of skikjöring, a race that is unique in the world. The participants cover 2,700 m on skis pulled by a thoroughbred horse without a rider, reaching speeds of up to 50 km/h — the different types of race alternate during the competition days at intervals of 30 minutes.

BBVA in Switzerland – the BBVA Group’s International Private Banking unit located in Zurich – has for the sixth consecutive year organised an exclusive event for horse and snow lovers at St. Moritz.

Do you love horses? If you are interested in participating at the White Turf St. Moritz 2020. Please contact your Investment Advisor.

We’re waiting for you in Switzerland!

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