Living the dream on frozen ice

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Skijoring [Photo provided to China Daily]

“The action on the frozen ice of Lake St Moritz and its orchestration is much like a motion picture – and demands of such an extreme equine spectacle require abundant skiing prowess on the part of competitors”

Conjure whatever image you can in your mind”s eye of a surreal trip of the most otherworldly kind, and it’s hard to better the stunning mountainous backdrop of the Swiss Alpine resort of St Moritz and its annual horse racing extravaganza of a most exhilarating kind.

Every year, more than 30,000 spectators converge around the frozen Lake St Moritz for an event known as White Turf across three weekends – in 2018, it’s being held from February 3 to 18. There, they watch a series of races across the lake in a variety of formats. Horses are given special ice shoes to run in – and the ultimate crowd-puller is “skijoring”, invented in 1923, whereby riders don’t saddle up, but are dragged behind horses in four-wheel carriages or on sleds.

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