One of the biggest equestrian spectacles of South Tyrol takes place every year in late spring in the Alpe di Siusi area.
Oswald von Wolkenstein, a medieval poet and one of the most famous minnesingers ever, was born in 1367 at Trostburg Castle above the village of Ponte Gardena. It was in 1983 that for the first time a riding tournament was organised in his honour. Even though some first difficult attempts, the popularity of the Oswald von Wolkenstein Ride has steadily increased in the course of the years and attracts now countless visitors every year. The tournaments have changed and include today the most beautiful places of the Alpe di Siusi area.
A total of 36 South Tyrolean teams, each consisting of four riders, compete in a lance game at the Colle in Castelrotto, in a labyrinth in the village of Siusi allo Sciliar, in obstacle gallop races at the enchanting Fiè Pond and - as a finale - in a slalom ride in the meadows surrounding the idyllic Presule Castle (see map). Riders and horses have to give anything at the single tournaments - speed and skilfulness are as much required as accuracy and team spirit. Sometimes, less than a second decides between the winning and the second-placed team.
Nowadays, the riders even have to pass a qualifying in order to be able to participate in the tournament. Visitors to the Oswald von Wolkenstein Ride can expect a unique mixture of breathtaking scenery, folkloric performances and exciting competitions. The event takes place every year around the beginning of June: the festivities last three days, the Oswald von Wolkenstein Ride itself takes place on Sunday. And the award? A standard that remains in the possession of the winning team until next year...
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