Best Baltic Racetracks: Is There Horse Racing In The Baltics?

  • 2024-06-05

Horse racing is a global sport that somehow found its way all around the world, but let’s be honest, the Baltic countries aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you mention the Sport of Kings.

With that said, it is always interesting to take a deep dive into a country’s relationship with horse racing, just because this is one of the oldest sports in the world. Horse racing as a sport, isn’t very popular in the Baltic states, even though all countries have a long relationship with horses.

Yes, there are certain horse racing events and equestrian shows, but nothing on the level of the Kentucky Derby.

Maybe it is because the Baltic states were never really influenced by the UK. The United Kingdom is responsible for sharing horse racing culture all around the world, and they’ve spread their horse racing tradition to every place they’ve visited.

But Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia somehow were immune to this horse racing trend, and it is safe to say that these aren’t the hotspots for equestrian tourism. However, in all of these countries, horse racing betting is legal, which means locals can still watch and bet on foreign horse racing events. 

If you plan to place a wager, make sure to check out some of Mucciolo’s horse betting strategies on the link below:

Although the horse racing scene in the Baltic states feels empty, there are some traces of equestrian activities among these countries, and in today’s article, we will dive deeper into their relationship with the Sport of Kings.


Horse racing or other equestrian events aren’t really popular among the locals. They also don’t share the same long history as other countries from Europe. Just take a look at the Estonian Equestrian Federation, which was only established more than 90 years ago. It is a long time, but compared to other places like the UK or the US, where certain events like the Kentucky Derby have a 150-year-old tradition, they fall back.

They have one horse racing track, and to be honest, it isn’t really impressive. The Tallinn Racetrack was built by a group of enterprising citizens after World War I, and it is 1,000 meters long and it is hosting multiple events per year.

What’s so special about this track is the final straight, which is one of the longest ones in Europe (270 meters), which is a real test for the horses.

Although we have to agree that the Estonian equestrian scene has grown significantly, thanks in part to events like the Tallinn International Horse Show. Unfortunately, it is primarily focused on show jumping and dressage, these events showcase the country's budding interest in horse racing.

Estonia's equestrian community is tight-knit and passionate, and while the country is not a major hub for horse racing yet, the foundations are being laid for future growth.


Latvia is a country where horse breeding and certain equestrian sports are embedded in their culture. However, when it comes to racing, the place feels empty as a desert.

There are no popular horse races in Latvia, and most of the tracks and equestrian facilities organize only equestrian showjumping and other disciplines like dressage. They also have their Equestrian Federation, which isn’t particularly active.

Latvia is also home to several breeding centers that preserve and promote the Latvian Horse breed.


In Lithuania, the situation is pretty much the same as the other two we mentioned so far, but with a unique twist. Horses have been present here for more than 5,000 years, as they’ve traveled from Central Asia and made their way west in the Baltic region.

However, this didn’t inspire the locals to do some racing, and they’ve never viewed horses as a source of entertainment. Okay, maybe in one particular event, but even this one is quite strange for the world of horse racing.

Lithuania has one of the oddest horse races on the planet. They have the Sartai Horse Race, which is a centuries-old tradition. This is a horse race that is organized on a frozen lake. Yes, you’ve heard that right. 

However, it seems like even this race is coming to an end, as the weather has been too warm for natural ice cover, which prevented the race from happening. The last time that the race was organized on Sartai Lake was in 2019, and since then the competition has moved to nearby Dusetos Hippodrome due to security concerns.

Lithuania, with its scenic countryside and historic cities, boasts a vibrant equestrian culture. The country's passion for horses is evident in its numerous equestrian clubs and events.

Comparing the Baltic States

So, how do these countries stack up against each other in the realm of horse racing?

Well, it is safe to say that horse racing isn’t really popular in the Baltic region. If we have to declare a winner, it is probably Estonia since they have one proper horse racing track.

However, things might change in the future as horse racing grows in popularity. So, can you really experience thrilling horse racing in the Baltics? – Not really. However, if you are just a casual horse lover and love being around these animals, there are plenty of farms, equestrian centers, and breeding facilities where you can learn more about these animals.