10 Must-See Horse Festivals From Around the World
Admiration for horses prompted people from all over the world to celebrate the existence of these beautiful creatures. Sharing the same passion for horses, music, food, and culture make festivals a charming gathering of equine fans. Whether you are a true-blue horse lover, die-hard concert fan, or just some curious traveler, these 10 horse festivals are definitely worth attending!
Festival del Caballo Arte y Vino – Ensenada City, Mexico
The Festival del Caballo is not only an event for horse-lovers but also invites spectators who appreciate the Ensenada culture through fine wine and the arts. Horse-related activities such as competitions and exhibitions are the highlight of the festival. Featuring local art, traditional South American dances, a wide variety of Mexican dishes, and country wine, Festival del Caballo is definitely a feast for the senses.
Mackay Harbour Beach Race Festival – Queensland, Australia
Australia is not only known for the Melbourne Cup Day. The Mackay Harbour Beach Race Festival proves you that a race can also be conducted in the sandy shores of Queensland. To welcome the season of spring, the 4-day event will feature 12 horse races and other attractions such as the Fashion on the Sand Competition, live Caribbean and Jazz music, and abundant Mackay cuisine and seafood for everyone to taste. Races are done almost weekly in Australia and the Mackay Harbour Beach Race Day is the only unofficial race day in the country.
Festival of the Horse – Kentucky USA
Georgetown, Kentucky has been hosting the festival for three decades now and has no intention of stopping the downtown tradition. Last year, the annual Chili Cook-off celebrated its 12th year anniversary of serving hot, spicy chili to horse-loving attendees. Families will surely enjoy activities such as the Colt and Filly Children’s Parade, Fun-time Carnival, and Pony rides in the 3-day celebration filled with unique, wholesome fun.
Plaridel Horse Festival – Bulacan, Philippines
The Plaridel Horse Festival is the perfect year-ender for every horse fan. Held just before New Year’s Eve, the two-day event boasts of a lively parade of horse-drawn chariots that occupy the town’s busy streets. The festival is actually held to honor St. James the Apostle, the patron saint of coachmen and jockeys. Devotees and tourists alike are drawn to the town’s fascination for horses which make the Plaridel Horse Festival an annual attraction.
Jerez Horse Fair – Andalucia, Spain
Andalucia not only takes pride in the famous Flamenco dance but also boasts of the elegant thoroughbred Andalusian horses. During the horse fair, carriages can be seen parading the pavements of Jerez in sync with Spanish music playing in the background. Some Flamenco dancing, men and women dressed in traditional clothing, and free-flowing wine make the Jerez Horse Fair a cultural party in honor of Spain’s majestic horses.
Scone and Upper Hunter Horse Festival – Australia
17 straight days of nothing but pure equine celebration, the Scone and Upper Hunter Horse Festival is definitely one event every horse enthusiast shouldn’t miss. Scone is considered as Australia’s horse capital while Upper Hunter is a haven for thoroughbreds in the South. The festival used to be a simple street parade but it has now developed to be a large scale program. Activities include parades, rodeo shows, competitions, museum tours, a concert, and trainings perfect for every member of the family.
Royal Horse Race Festival – Oman
Arabian horses are one of the finest in the world and that’s one of the reasons why they deserve royal treatment. The 6-round horse race is presided by none other than the Sultan of Oman. Oman’s love for horses is reflected on the royal family’s complete attendance in the said event as well as staging horse performances accompanied by traditional music that make the royal celebration a sight to remember.
Chagu Chagu Umakko – Iwate Prefecture, Japan
Sound of bells can be heard as a grandiose parade of horses mark the coming of summer in Japan. Dating back to the 18th century, Chagu Chagu Umakko has been one of the most-awaited festivals in the country to honor horses that help them plant rice. Children in traditional garments riding the horses with colorful, embellished harnesses take spectators back to historic Japan.
Faster Horses Festival – Michigan, USA
Party country-style in the Faster Horses Festival as they provide 3 days of non-stop live country music and camping! This feast is held in Camp Casey – a nonprofit horseback riding camp with a program focused on children with cancer in Michigan. It features not only horseback performances but also fun rides, talented musicians, and exciting parties making it an experience to remember for every fan of the western culture.
Festival Nacional de la Doma y el Folklore – Argentina
Cowboy aficionados will surely be delighted in the Horse Training and Folklore Festival. Gauchos in authentic cowboy gear, sombrero, knee-high boots, and belt, compete for a few seconds in the horse breaking event (training the horse to accept the rider which is the highlight of the fest). The simple, quiet town of Jesus Maria transforms into a lively and cheerful venue once people flock the La Doma stadium for some genuine Argentinean flair.
Gabby Roxas is a business writer and content manager for Abler. She also has a background in entrepreneurship, marketing, design and loves to create things related to interior designing.