Marche-Concours National de Chevaux

Horse Cultures of the World

The Marche-Concours national de Chevaux is the equivalent to the Royal Easter Show for horses with many breeds flocking to the Swiss alpine town.  This annual event occurs every August in the autumn when the temperatures are beginning to sink but that doesn’t stop the crowds flocking to the show!

This historical show promotes the local horse breeds of the area and is now become a great horseracing weekend. But what makes this event different is that it is also a horse sale! It all started way back in 1897 as an agricultural show as a way to enhance the breeding of the horses.  In 1901 the event changed as they scrapped the agricultural side of the show to focus on the more than 500 horses (!!!) that were to be presented! It is now a celebration of the horse and promotes local breeds to the wider public. Essentially it’s one HUGE party!

How big, you ask? Well for the host alpine town of Saignelégier who’s population for the majority of the year sits at around 2,200 people, swells to 50,000 during one week in August to watch the event. They come to watch the races and to possibly buy a horse or two! The races that are exhibited mostly are ridden and harness but there are some novelty events such as bareback racing and fancy dress! Oh, and did I mention more recently the show has now begun to exhibit show jumping and show horse exhibitions? It’s seriously growing and multiplying each year!

I’m thinking it might be a great place to find my next horse, don’t you?

Reference: Marche-Concours Official website and the Horse Encylopedia book

Images: Marche-Concours website, Wikimedia and Pinterest

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