Easter Monday is a special day in Merano: the Haflinger horses await you in the racecourse of Maia Bassa for a unique event.
Image gallery: Haflinger Gallop Races
Everything begins on Easter Monday with a lovely parade which starts in the town centre, more precisely at the Porta Venosta gate called "Vinschger Tor". Horses and their riders wearing the traditional costumes of their home towns, parade floats, local music bands and folklore groups parade through Merano to the Merano-Maia Racecourse in the quarter of Maia Bassa. There, the famous Haflinger Gallop Races (Haflinger Galopprennen, in German) take place in the afternoon.
It marks the start of the Merano-Maia Racecourse season - the first official obstacle race is scheduled in May. The main protagonists of the Haflinger Gallop Races are the strong but gentle Haflinger horses with their blond mane. About 70 mares from all over the region participate in a number of thrilling racings on a distance of 1,600 metres. The traditional Haflinger Gallop Races, taking place since 1896, combine sport and folklore in a unique way. They are organised by the Merano Tourist Office, the South Tyrolean Haflinger Sports Club and the Merano Galoppo Ltd.
The entertainment programme includes performances by local music and dance groups, the traditional "Goasslschnöller" and a trotting race. On the ground floor of the hippodrome, however, there are booths with local delicacies. In the late afternoon, the final race takes place, in order to find out the fastest Haflinger horse of South Tyrol. Also bets can be places...
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