The biggest equestrian festival in Hungary is arranged every year in Budapest in a most beautiful environment at the majestic Heroes Square.
The first National Gallop was arranged in 2008 and it has since then become a popular event with lots of Hungarian culture, crowds of people and action filled horse races at the 6200m2 horse track at the Heroes Square.
In the first three years of the National Gallop it was arranged in the end of May and in the start of June, but in 2011 the entire program was moved to September and it seems that this is the new standard time of the year to arrange the National Gallop in Budapest.
The National Gallop isn’t all about horses, but it is just as much a festival celebrating the Hungarian towns and villages. Between 2009 and 2011 the Andrassy út (Avenue) leading towards the Heroes Square was turned into a walking street with lots of stands where you could see traditional Hungarian clothing from different villages, taste food, wine and sausages and partake in different cool activities. As of 2012 this is moved to the parking lot next to and behind the Art Hall in Budapest (museum at the Heroes Square). This is even better with much more space for eating, shopping and checking out all the interesting stands.
The horse competition itself is not just about one race, but there are several competitions arranged during a National Gallop weekend; National Gallop Race, the Little Hussar gallop, the Chariot Gallop Celebrity Race, the Cart Pushing Competition and the Celebrity Charity Race. You might not know any of the celebrities performing in the celebrities race, but for locals this is really cool as they see famous Hungarian celebrities compete in this race.
Do not miss out on this event if you are in Budapest on the time of the festival. It is free entrance to the entire event, but there are VIP tickets available if you want a very special and good seat. Do not forget that it is great just to walk around and feel the smell, eat some food, drink some palinka and simply get to know more about Hungarian culture, costumes, gastronomy and of course equestrian life during the National Gallop, so even if you are not interested in the races, it is well worth visiting the area.
National Gallop 2013
Dates: September 20th-22nd
Location: Heroes Square, Budapest
Original name: Nemzeti Vágta