Horse Racing in Beirut

Most Sunday afternoons, there are horse races in Beirut at the Hippodrome. We decided to drop in for a race or two just the other day.

I had never been to a horse race before, only ever seen dramatized versions in movies or on TV which doesn't count I've decided. At the stadium, you get to see the horses up close. Tension builds as you wait for the race to begin. You see exactly how fast (and difficult to photograph) horses really are, and it's over in a hearbeat.

Most of what I usually photograph holds still, or still enough. So I'll have to go back and give it another try.

Here's google's satelite image of the race track. The entrance is off Omar Beyhum road, and there is parking inside. The road above the Hippodrome, Abdallah El Yafi, is the highway connecting Cola and Adlieh. So now you know how to get there.

Before the race starts, the horses are led around a small loop (visible in the google map-- it's the small green oval below the large orange track), which allows all the spectators to see the horses and make up their minds about what to bet. Lots of betting going on.

I took too many pictures, none of them very good. But I had such a nice time there with my family. Horses are beautiful, and there's always a lot of energy at a competition like this.


  1. Your photos really give the atmosphere. But the one with the horse with all 4 off the ground is fantastic!

    As a horse lover, I was taken once to the track near Chicago to see thoroughbred racing. Never forgot it.

    You're lucky to have a hippodrome in your country.

  2. I've never been to the horse races. Your images have given me a great idea of the sense of fun.

  3. Your pictures captured well the experience. I wouldn't have guessed that one could see horse racing in Beirut - why? Dunno.

  4. I have only ever been once, to Royal Randwick with my mother. She spent all the time tensed and then running back to put on another bet.

    I did not enjoy it and have not been since. My daughter and her husband go every Easter Carnival when it is 'Princess Day'. He bets, she has pedicures!

  5. Hey sorry to bother you but do you know what time the horseraces are? Are they every single Sunday and can anyone just go inside to watch them? Is there a contact number I can call to ask?