Occasionally on our family travels I do something just for me. Setting my alarm for 5:00am and driving across the island of Barbados to see some swimming race horses was one of those things. If getting up before dawn while on vacation wasn’t nutty enough, this adventure also involved my first time driving on the opposite side of the road (or the wrong side, as I like to call it). Despite getting lost several times, I eventually arrived at my intended destination without incident, and was not disappointed.
Barbados is home to one of the oldest racetracks in the Americas, the Garrison Savannah. Each morning, owners, trainers and groomers bring horses down to the sea for a swim, or sometimes a little water therapy if they have been injured. The setting is a photographer’s dream, with feisty horses being coaxed by their handlers towards the beautiful Caribbean waters. Take a peek in this one minute youtube video.
Where to see the Swimming Race Horses of Barbados?
The horses are brought down to Carlisle Bay, just south of Bridgetown and in front of the Radisson Hotel. You can see them anytime from sunrise to around 7a.m. For the exact location, see map.
The horses are often feisty (rearing and kicking), so unless you want a more abrupt wake up, stand or sit a ways back on the beach. Be sensitive to the fact that not all of the handlers are interested in having their picture taken and are just trying to do their job. With the young man above, I assumed he didn’t want his photo taken, but then he walked his horse over to me and just stood solemnly and silently until I took his picture.
Want to See More? Visit the Garrison Savannah Racetrack.
If you are interested in going to the horse races at Garrison Savannah, they run most of the year, except for during the height of hurricane season (Sept/Oct). The races are popular events where children are welcome. See the Garrison Savannah website for race dates.
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