Horse Racing In Cabo

Maybe you can make some $$$ here
BY: FERNANDO BALDERAS RODRIGUEZ

Horse racing is one of the most ancient sports in the world, and Mexico has adopted its own traditions here. There is a long tradition of horse races in this country, of course they come with their own format. But horse races in Cabo? Yes they exist, and they are a big thing between locals, especially in the small towns surrounding Cabo like Migriño and San Pedro.

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This races are part of the local traditions and have been carried out for a long time now. The races are between cuadras which are local teams of racers and breeders. The most common format is between two horses, and in derbies this is the elimination process that will be used until the last two remaining compete for the first place. Most of the races are 300 varas long which amounts to 252 meters. From time to time there are 200 and 100 meters races, where lighter horses compete, and  sometimes there are even 300 and 400 meters races but these are more the exception than the norm.

The races are presented  in “Tastes” which is the local name for the race track. Most races are in a big old open field, but this has never been a deterrent for the race enthusiasts to attend. These races get a turn out. There are Tastes in Santiago, Migriño, San Pedro, San Jose in Santa Rosa, La Paz. But horses from cuadras as far as Culiacán which is across the Sea of Cortez come to compete all the time.

There is always a healthy rivalry between cuadras and this adds excitement to the events. Like last year a horse called Z40 from the Valley ran against Centavo from Migriño,  A lot of people came to this particular race. This race was so big they even composed a folk song about it. A corrido is a Mexican song that tells a story of notable events or individuals. The most famous one is “El corrido del caballo blanco” and tells the story of a white horse that crossed Mexico from south to north but this adventurous voyage claimed his life.

The tastes with the best infrastructure, namely with bleachers and protection from the sun and with bathrooms are the ones in San Pedro and Migriño but the latest have more capacity. The Migriño annual celebration is in June and the one for Los Cabos is in this very month with the races taking place on October 21. There will be 8 races and a quartet with 4 new horses  in Santa Rosa's taste in San Jose del Cabo.

The Migriño taste and cuadra whose name is “El atrancon in Migriño” is run by Mr. Raul Leggs who has been working it for 8 years now. This taste organizes about 5 events a year, including a derby. Most cuadras are in San Pedro which is where  most of the best known horses are from.

This is not a cheap sport. For example here is an invitation for a race that will take place on December 16 where the entrance fee for each horse is 100,000 pesos (around 5,500 USD), the horses in this race will  run for 300 varas. Is there gambling? Well, is the Pope Catholic? Gambling is the whole point, and large sums exchange hands.

There is also another equestrian Mexican tradition popular here in Los Cabos. It is called the Cabalgata or “The ride”. This is a group of horse riders that get together for a stroll, more like a parade. Usually to celebrate a certain event. The group can be made of up to a hundred riders or more and in the finish line there is usually food, music and celebrations akin to the date the event is celebrating. This month Los Cabos celebrates the “Fiestas patronales” a local yearly celebration, and it will have its cabalgata . It will take place the 18th of October. It started in the San Lucas taste and went to the Evangelista church downtown and finished in the Plaza de Toros La san Luqueña, with live music, mechanical bull, donkey competition and horse games and acrobatics called escaramuzas. It is a quite beautiful and entertaining event.