Murcia : the wine horses race

Wine horses race at the town of Caravaca de la cruz is one of the great fiesta in the Southern Spain.

Caravaca de la Cruz :the hometown of the  Wine horses race

First of all, Murcia is a province in south-eastern Spain. Caravaca de la Cruz is a town in this province. This inland town is beautiful.
The town of Caravaca de la Cruz is dominated by the medieval Caste of Santa Cruz.
The Fiesta de la Vera Cruz honors  the healing power of this miraculous cross.
The town is the home to many museums and monuments.
The hills  in the north of Caravaca de la Cruz  are rich in marble and iron

Caravaca de la Cruz
Caravaca de la Cruz


Wine horses race

A unique race takes places in Caravaca de la Cruz every 2 of  May. This horse race is called the wine horse race.
It is one of the most important  and beautiful fiestas.
So, it celebrate the local patron  to pay tribute to  the relic of the True Cross the “Fiesta de la Vera Cruz”.

Wine horse race
Wine horse race

The race takes place at the impressive “Sanctuary de la cruz.” All the participants  and the locals wear their traditional dress. A white shirt, a black trouser a red belt..
Of course , the beautiful horses have their traditional cloaks.

The main parade introduces all the runners of all ages. The runners are proudly accompanied by their horses. And of course with their local supporters.
It is really a fiesta this wine horses race with singing and dancing. The participants bring their own bands with them.
The horses of the 60 brotherhoods that participate are beautifully saddles. This saddle is handmade  embroidery and very impressing. The embroidery fit perfect with the horse. On the embroidery are pictured colorful scenes of daily life.

Wine horses race
Wine horses race

Horses and riders are on the streets of Caracava  at 10 in the morning for the public . Earlier , there is a private saddling up ceremony.
So the parade to the castle and the sanctuary begin. Both are on the top of the mountain.

The wine horses race self start in the afternoon at 2.00 on the steep and small streets.

A colorful event

It is really a colorful events. Thousand of locals  pack into the narrow streets. They are all wearing their white shirt, the black trouser and the red scarf as a belt.

As a result that the runs is not recommended for children are disable people. The children are advised to watch the race from the larger streets nearby.
The danger is that the runners are too focused on their own run  down to the sloop from the medieval castle . Indeed, the runner with the shortest time is the winner.
The beautiful horses run one at the time. Each one is the horses is accompanied with four  riders next to them. They do not sit on the horse. The riders and the horses train here for very hard  the whole year. And the race last …less than 20 seconds.

Of course it not an easy race. The streets are full with supporters. And they move only out-of-the-way as a wave when the horse is coming.

There are also best prices for best dressed horse. It is a year labor to create the superb mantles worn by the horses.

Wine Horse race
Wine Horse race


It is really a special day. For horse and runner.

 The origins of the wine horse race

The origin of the wine horses race date back to the Moorish times.
In the past , South Spain is the part with the most influence of the Arabs.
Legends say that the Moors capture the town  in May 1384.
The water had become stagnant. And a diseases had broken out.
Then the  ” Knights Templar ”  took their horses  seeking for water, bit all that they found was wine.
The locals say that their relic of the ” holy cross ” blessed the wine and cured them.
Since then, they have their miracle.
Local historians have a another story . But we like the one of the Moors.

So along with the procession and parades are also those of the parades of the Moors and the Christians.

So, the other story of the origin of the wine horses race .
In the area  there is a great tradition of wine production.
in the past , the rich wine makers uses to take their produce wine to the sanctuary  to get the blessing of the holy cross.
Of course when you ask for a blessing it is special and their horses  were beautiful decorated.
Meanwhile, the servants were bored with waiting after their master. And they took the horse s for a race. An example of their own bravado.
So,the race down from the sanctuary became more and more  popular.
To end as a festival of the wine horse of Murcia  declared of National Tourist interest

UNESCO Cultural Heritage.

Although the horse race is on the 2 of May. While  the activities starts the 1st of May till the 5 May.

As a result , the celebration of the Wine horse Race is an especially event. Now the town tries to have  the recognize of the UNESCO as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Indeed, the running of the horses  and the whole “Fiesta de la Vera Cruz ”  are a true Spanish spectacle.
As a result, the fiesta is worth the visit of the medieval town.
As you can read , it is a lovely day of watching and enjoying.

Finally , you van find a  full detail of the program of the  Fiesta   at the tourist information.


The children horse race.

Murcia Wine horses race
Murcia Wine horses race

The children have their own race with pony’s.

In larger streets, and safer.

Also on the 2 of May .

So learned young is done old.


We did love it !