Destinations Magazine

Horsing Around in the Afternoon – a North-Holland Tradition

By Amsterdam City Tours
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A horse and rider making their way to the starting line

You don’t have to go far to get a taste of ‘real’ Holland. Just a half hour from Amsterdam, the town of Purmerend closed off a main road to indulge in a provincial tradition: Kortebaandraverij, short course horse racing.

In a North-Holland tradition dating back over 200 years, 26 horses compete in a knockout series of 300 meter races with the rider following behind sitting on a buggy, hanging on for dear life.

Racing down the street

Here they come!

It seems as though the whole town comes out to watch (does nobody work on a Thursday?). It doesn’t hurt that beer is readily available in tents and gambling abounds.

Today, the sun was shining and everyone seemed to be enjoying this traditional sport. It seems like something that every town should try.

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