Horse racing has formed part of Malta’s culture for hundreds of years and it was quite common for feast and events to be celebrated with a horse race in the main streets of towns and villages. In recent times these races have become very rare as Maltese roads are now full of traffic thus a safety hazard. This was what last year prompted the idea to create an event which would rekindle this tradition in different localities showing that horse racing can be enjoyed by everyone in an environment that can be safe for all the family. The idea was to organise a race in which each horse is coupled with a locality so that its residents will have the interest to support “their” horse in order to win the shield for their town/village.
This idea was instantly backed by the Minister responsible for the National Heritage, the Arts and the Local Government Dr Owen Bonnici and thanks to his support we are able to offer a total of €3200 in prize money to the owners of the first four horses in this race.
As the Malta Equidrome is situated in Marsa and the Southern Region Local Council consists of 12 localities, the choice of region came naturally and for this we would like to thank the Region’s President Mr Jesmond Aquilina and all his staff for their cooperation once we presented them with our proposal. This event could not have been proposed at a better time as the Southern Region has been also declared the Region of Culture for 2023.
In order to select the 12 horses that will be participating, during the weekend of 18th and 19th February, four Premier category races were held from which the first three of each race qualified to take part in this race which will be held on Sunday 5th March.
Earlier today a press conference was held at the board room of the Malta Racing Club during which the Parliamentary Secretary responsible from the Local Councils Hon. Alison Zerafa Civelli drew the numbers of the participating horses whilst each Local Council was partnered with the horse it will be supporting. Present also for this press conference was Malta Racing Club’s Vice Chairman Mr Edwin Borg, representatives from each local council and the owners of the participating horses.
Apart from prize money, the owner of the winning horse will receive a trophy and a commemorative horse blanket whilst the Mayor of the locality backing the winning horse will receive an artistic shield which was designed for the occasion on which the name of the locality will be engraved and this will be showcased at their local council for a year. Our aim is to make this an annual event which will start featuring in the regular local horse racing calendar. Each locality will also be presenting a token to the owner of the horse assigned to the locality.
The residents of each locality are being encouraged to join their Local Councils and come to the Malta Equidrome on Sunday 5th March in order to cheer on “their” horse.
The horses have the following starting numbers and these are the localities they will be representing:
Public Relations & Media Coordinator
Malta Racing Club