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St Moritz White Turf Horse Racing

St Moritz White Turf Horse Racing


The Sport of Kings in the Swiss Alps


White Turf St. Moritz: Amazing Beauty wins GP Guardaval Immobilien

ST. MORITZ/SWITZERLAND, 3FEB13 – Amazing Beauty with jockey Mirco Demuro (in front) wins the flat race GP Guardaval Immobilien at the White Turf tournament, February 3, 2013. Photo credit Andy Mettler


Many ludicrously dangerous alpine sports were born in St Moritz during the early 1900’s; there seemed no end to the sporting eccentricity or derring-do of the wealthy alpinists who hung around the exclusive resort. Perhaps the social scene was as ferociously competitive as the sport, and unless you invented a potentially fatal crowd-pleasing action sport – luge, skeleton, bobsleigh – then the party invites dried up.


White Turf St. Moritz: Skikjoering Credit Suisse GP of Sils

ST. MORITZ/SWITZERLAND, 3FEB13 – Skiers are pulled by horses during the Skikjoering event Credit Suisse GP of Sils at the White Turf tournament, February 3, 2013. Photo credit Michi Mettler


We thought we’d heard of them all but then flicking through a Debretts diary of events we came across White Turf. Thoroughbred horses galloping across the frozen lake at St Moritz whilst ‘riders’ on skis cling onto reins at the rear. Surely this is insanity? But no – not at all. Just terribly, terribly swanky– not a North Face jacket in sight – gorgeously colourful and fantastically photogenic.


White Turf St. Moritz 2013: Skikjoering 'Credit Suisse - Grosser Preis von Celerina'

White Turf Tournament on the frozen St. Moritz lake in St. Moritz, Switzerland, February 10, 2013. Photo credit Michi Mettler


The event begun back in 1923, was first termed skijoring and was nothing more than 13, possibly well refreshed, gentlemen, who cared more for thrills than safety, gadding about on horses and skis.


White Turf St. Moritz: Champagner

How to enjoy the White Turf Tournament. Photo credit Andy Mettler


White Turf St. Moritz: Impression

Not a North Face jacket in sight – not even on the dogs….
Photo credit Andy Mettler


Today the White Turf programme extends across the first three Sundays in February, and includes flat races, trotting races – with sleds, and the skijoring. It attracts sponsorship from Credit Suisse, BMW and American Airlines and climaxes with the Grand Prix of St. Moritz on Sunday 17 February, which with a prize of 135, 135 Swiss Francs attracts international riders and first class horses.