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Galloping through the snow

Skikjöring in St Moritz. ST/swiss-image.ch

The frozen lake in St Moritz will be the scene of international horse racing over the first three Sundays in February.

This content was published on November 1, 2004 - 10:21

The White Turf event has been held in St Moritz since 1907.

The competition began when a few intrepid souls wondered what it would be like to be pulled behind a horse on skis.

“Skikjöring” (the name is Norwegian and roughly translates as “ride on a rope”) proved to be a huge success and is still one of the most popular races on the White Turf calendar.

Flat race and trotting competitions were soon included and, with the arrival of wealthy sponsors in recent years, the event now draws top race horses from around the world.

A “nostalgia” parade is held before the main race each Sunday, when traditional Engadine sleighs, old trotting sulkies and skikjöring horses pulling two skiers in tandem make their way across the lake.

About 30,000 spectators attend the races each year. White Turf is also high on the agenda of the jet set, whose members find the stunning winter landscape a perfect place to pose for the paparazzi.

Snow show

Snow – for some a blessing, for others a curse. That is the theme running through a temporary exhibition showing at three museums in Chur until February 27.

The Graubünden fine arts museum, the nature museum and the Rhaetian Museum will take different approaches to the theme.

Early engravings depicting avalanches and video installations will make up part of the exhibition dedicated to snow. As the exhibitors proclaim, “it will not leave you cold”.

Ski marathon

On March 14, St Moritz and the other villages in the Engadine valley will host the world’s largest cross-country ski marathon, normally attracting about 12,000 participants.

The scenic route begins in Maloja before crossing the valley’s frozen lakes and finishing 42 kilometres later in the village of S-chanf.

Gone are the days of a spectacular mass start. Since 1993, competitors are allocated to 10 – 15 minute blocks.

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