The Kentucky Derby… but with cows? We stumbled upon this unique event and felt like we had to go. Had we even lived in Switzerland if we’d never been to a cow race? It was set in Flumserberg, a small village at 1,344 meters which allowed for some great views. Being in a village, the crowd was on the smaller side and filled with locals. We would’ve felt like one had we known a little more Swiss German! Finding events like this one is ideal when it takes place in a remote area or somewhere we wouldn’t think to visit first.
There were 8 cows, each with their own set of stats. When we arrived they were gathered in the race area to give onlookers a chance to set their eyes on the potential winner. We know nothing about what it may take or look like to be a fast cow but we made our selections and headed to the betting table. We had a good feeling about Irina and Jasmin, ready to cheer them on! While we waited for race time we grazed over the market stalls lined with hand made products. Cheese, sausages, and aperitifs filled us up for lunch before we found a spot to relax near the “track”. There was one cow, Sindi, we watched pace around all the other cows for an hour before the start of the race. We thought she may be the one to win… we were almost right!
After dressing them in headpieces and mounting the riders, the cows were ready to take off. We wondered if they even understood what was about to happen… did they train for this? Regardless, they herded them to the starting line as a row of giant bells began to ring for signal. As soon as the bells were silenced, they gave them a good smack and off they went! Quite immediately, ole Sindi proved she was a firecracker and bucked off her rider! She stayed in the front of the group but was disqualified for that maneuver. Cows are actually pretty agile! They made their way around the track two times before crossing the finish line. Unfortunately Irina stuck to the middle of the pack and poor Jasmin resembled more of a turtle than anything else. However, one of our friends that joined us had bet on the winner and made out with a fair amount of cash!
If you want to see the cows in action, check out our YouTube! It’s days like this where we really think to ourselves how crazy it is that we’re here. Ten years ago, it would’ve been hard to believe we’d be watching a cow race on a leisurely Sunday afternoon in Switzerland. Life is no doubt a wild ride! Who knows, maybe someday we’ll be one of the ones ON the cow!