Are you passionate about horses? These free spirited mammals, admired for their strength and intelligence are a common sight in Gozo, where they are cared for by passionate owners. The Gozo Horse Racing Association has a good number of members (old and young alike), brought together by the love for horses.
The Xħajma Racetrack, spanning about 1km, is found in Xewkija and is the only horse race track in Gozo serving as a main training ground. Its upkeep and maintenance are essential to ensure continuous training throughout the seasons. The racetrack is open daily from 5.30am to 7.30pm in winter, and from 5.30am to 8.00pm during summer.
Types and Varieties of Races:
When it comes to horse racing, the type of racing that is practised locally is more in style with the Roman chariot type, where the rider sits on a 2-wheeled gig which is drawn by a horse. The Gozo Horse Association organises regular and special activities, and each event is marked by a Race Card, which features the full program of the event. Races are usually held every fortnight during the weekend, but the yearly calendar also includes special events like Arka races, Bailey’s Heats, Kraft Heats, Gozo Sports Festival and World Children’s Day.
The Gozo Horse Racing Association organises a wide variety of races for Shetland Ponies, different ponies and Trott. The latter can be split into 5 different categories:- Trott Premier, Trott Gold, Trott Silver, Trott Bronze and Trott Copper. Last year the Gozo Horse Racing Association also held the President’s Cup and the Local Council Cup.
Keen on its mission of taking horse racing in Gozo to the next level, Gozo Horse Racing Association also organises courses and training.
- Bailey’s Races on Saturday 13 May 2017, at 4.00pm – Distance 2100m
- May Races on Sunday 28 May 2017, at 9.00am – Distance 1600m
- Kraft Races on Sunday 4 June 2017, at 9.00am – Distance 2600m
A race track open to all!
The race track and the races events are open to all, both local and foreign participants and visitors.
Horse racing remains a great fun activity, and the Gozo Horse Racing Association is intent on welcoming the whole family to the racetrack, to enjoy the spectacle and experience the excitement! In fact, its annual calendar also includes events aimed specifically at children, athletics and motoring enthusiasts and bocci players.
Special thanks to Mrs Mary Mifsud, President of The Gozo Horse Racing Association for helping with this blog post.