A Pole without a horse is as a body without a soul. Polish proverb
I went to a ‘Derby Days’ party this afternoon. For neophytes like myself, that means we watched the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs (horse race), placed small bets on various horses to win and ate well. I’m not a southern gal, so I’m still somewhat puzzled
that over 164,000 people gather at one track in Kentucky for a single horse race that lasts two minutes. That’s it – just one two-minute race. But as it was explained to me – it’s not the race that’s the event – it’s the all-day party with women bedecked in hats (the only place outside of England that American women wear hats, as far as I know.)
Poland does have a strong horse tradition. In my post of November 17, 2013 I wrote of the Polish Arabian champion – Bask.
Interestingly Warsaw Tourism lists Służewiec Horse Race Track, in the heart of the city, as one of the largest and most beautiful racing tracks in the world. So I looked up the Race Track and compared it to Churchill Downs, where the Kentucky Derby was run. Indeed the Służewiec must be large. It’s listed as 138 hectares, which converts to 341 acres. Churchill Downs pales in comparison; at a mere 115 acres it is only one-third the size of Warsaw’s race track.
Racing season in Poland begins in April. And yes, horse races took place in Warsaw today.