Sport | 31 January, 2019

White Turf 2019: A date with horses and snow in Switzerland

Thaís Lino Cardoso Business Development

For the fifth consecutive year, BBVA in Switzerland – the BBVA Group’s International Private Banking unit based in Switzerland – is organising a special Alpine event with horses and snow during the Swiss winter. Spectators from all over the world flock to the frozen lake of St. Moritz to attend the spectacular White Turf horse races in the mountains of the Engadine region, in the very heart of Switzerland.

In a meeting that combines luxury, sport and adrenaline, the Alpine village’s lake becomes the perfect setting for lovers of horse racing. Local residents and tourists, major personalities from the world of culture, business and politics, racehorse owners, trainers and jockeys: there is a unique atmosphere among all of them that makes the White Turf an unforgettable social and sporting occasion.

Year after year, noble thoroughbred horses from all over Europe and international riders fascinate visitors from all corners of the world at the White Turf races in Switzerland. 

A winning combination

Since 1907, the annual White Turf event has been held during the month of February, on the frozen lake in the famous tourist resort of St. Moritz. Originally a regional horse racing championship, it is currently considered one of the main events in Switzerland, with over 35 thousand international visitors coming to watch it every year.
Flat and trotting races, equestrian competitions and the special discipline of skikjöring (horse-drawn skiing) alternate during the days of competition with 30 minute intervals. On the flat, in addition to the 1,300m speed race, other races of different distances are also held and, in the case of trotting, 1,700m races.

Skikjöring, in particular, is a real magnet for the public. This kind of racing is unique in the world, with participants racing 2,700m on skis pulled by a thoroughbred horse, without a rider, reaching speeds of up to 50km/h. Bravery, fitness, strength and skiing ability decide who accumulates the highest number of points on the three Sundays of competition and is crowned “King of the Engadine” for the rest of the year.

During the breaks between the races, there is a special programme with live music on various stages, culinary delights for all tastes, art exhibitions and shopping areas, children’s zones and shows.

A white world

St. Moritz is one of the world ‘s major winter sports destinations and captivates visitors with its impressive landscapes, its cosmopolitan glamour and its harmonious balance between nature, tradition and lifestyle. Via skikjöring, the town’s main street, guarantees the best shopping within a small area, but around every corner you can find typical specialties like the famous Engadine walnut tart.

It is in St. Moritz where Switzerland’s winter tradition was born and pioneering achievements took place: winter tourism began there in 1864; the country’s first electric light was switched on in 1878; the first alpine golf tournament was held in 1889; the first ski school opened in 1929; and the first chairlifts were put into operation in 1935.

The winter sportsperson has 350km of ski slopes at their disposal, boasting the latest infrastructure. Lovers of winter have a network of hiking trails totalling150km, while cross-country ski enthusiasts have around 200km they can enjoy. Skiing, snowboarding, curling and altitude training are just some of the other winter sports that can be practiced there.

If you are passionate about horse racing or simply want to spend an unforgettable day in a spectacular winter environment, be sure to pay a visit to St. Moritz in February and discover the BBVA in Switzerland branches, which are located in Zurich, the financial capital of this Alpine country.