Budapest’s National Gallop!

When I was a kid, I will never forget sitting in front of the TV, watching Charlton Heston’s chariot tear around the track in Ben Hur. I wished I could have been there. Well, now I can!  The mighty Chariot Race is only one of the adrenaline-pumping events to take place at Budapest’s annual National Gallop, a rather new Hungarian invention. On September 19, Heroes’ Square will be transformed into a spectacular racetrack covered with over 6,000 square meters of sand. Young jockeys, modern day Hussars on horseback, will race à la Charlton Heston in front of grandstands of cheering crowds, competing for the 21.5-million-forint cash prize, a glittering sword, and national glory. 

Unknown-1But that’s not all. The day includes mock battles and archers shooting arrows on galloping horses. And Andrássy Avenue will become the Gallop Promenade, presenting 1000 years of Hungarian history. This is an event I won’t miss. And who knows — if one of those chariot drivers gets injured, I may just have to volunteer!

6 thoughts on “Budapest’s National Gallop!

  1. We are hoping to make it to these events. I have looked on the event website but cannot find (understand) the information about tickets.
    Do you know where we can buy the tickets? You mentioned the Gallop Promenade, will that be down Andrassy?
    Thanks for your post. I am also an American living in Budapest and it really helps to read your blog and gain information from your perspective, plus they are always quite entertaining!
    Sheri N.

  2. Maybe I’m alone with my opinion, but as a Hungarian I kind of dislike this event. It’s pretty new, feels faux-traditional, seems silly that they do so much fuss to change Heroes’ Square when we have a couple of horse tracks in Budapest. Also, horses don’t like to run on sand. Also, I’m not antisocial but I also cannot understand those people who visit this in person. Huge crowd, you can barely see anything, everything is overpriced if you try to buy something, and you can see the whole thing in the TV (kind of like Formula 1).

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