How Popular Is Horse Racing In Kenya?

February 15, 2023
Photo: Business Today

Get ready to saddle up, people, because we’re about to enter the wild world of Kenyan horse racing. 

You might assume that this sport is only a hit in the UK or the US, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Kenya is absolutely nuts about horses, and it’s not just for kicks and giggles. 

So, if you’re looking for a fresh addition to your horse racing roster and want to spice up your betting, according to, then you need to check out the Kenyan horse racing scene. 

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into what makes horse racing so irresistible in Kenya and why you need to add it to your bucket list.

The Equestrian Scene in Kenya

Kenya might be famous for its sprawling savannas and incredible wildlife, but did you know that they’re also pretty wild about horses? 

It’s not just a leisurely pastime, either – when it comes to horse racing, things get downright electric. 

The Ngong Racecourse, which is situated just outside Nairobi, is one of the hottest racecourses in the region, attracting a diverse crowd of locals and foreigners alike. 

Here, you’ll find everyone from posh socialites to hardcore betting fans, all waiting with bated breath to see who will gallop to glory. 

So, if you want to feel the pulse-pounding excitement that comes with a high-stakes horse race, then you’ve got to come and see what all the fuss is about in Kenya.

The Kenyan Horse Racing Experience

Attending a horse race in Kenya is not just about watching majestic creatures gallop around a track. It’s a full-fledged experience that offers something for every sense. 

First off, there’s fashion. People come dressed to impress, sporting the most extravagant hats and outfits. 

Then, there’s the food. You can indulge in a wide range of culinary delights, from traditional Kenyan dishes to international cuisine. 

And let’s not forget about the drinks. Premium wines and spirits flow like a river, adding to the already buzzing atmosphere.

But of course, the main event is the horse race. As the horses thunder past the finish line, the excitement is palpable, and you can feel the ground shake beneath you.

Most Popular Horse Races in Kenya

Several popular horse races in Kenya draw people from all around the country. The Ngong Racecourse Derby, held annually on the first Saturday of August, is one of the most popular events that keeps the entire horse racing scene alive. 

With dozens of horses and jockeys fighting for a chance to win large, this event is a big thing in the Kenyan horse racing scene. 

The Kenya Derby, held in February, is another popular race that draws both local and foreign fans. The Kakuzi Handicap is also a highly anticipated event, as it involves some of the country’s greatest horses and jockeys. 

Horse racing is a popular hobby in Kenya, with several spectacular races held throughout the year.

Horse Racing’s Cultural Significance in Kenya

Horse racing is more than a sport in Kenya; it’s a cultural phenomenon profoundly embedded in the country’s history. 

The first known horse race took place in Nairobi in 1904, and the sport’s popularity has only grown since then. 

Horse racing is now a celebration of Kenya’s cultural history, with traditional music, dances, and attire playing an important role in the race day festivities. There’s something for everyone, from the Maasai shuka to the Kikuyu battle dance.

Final Words

If you’re searching for a one-of-a-kind and thrilling event, or want a change to the traditional horse racing scene, Kenya is the right place to go. 

It’s no surprise that horse racing has such a large following in the country, given its rich cultural significance, thrilling races, and social atmosphere. 

Now, horse racing isn’t as popular in Kenya compared to other countries like the US, but given the continent’s absence from the horse racing scene, Kenya is doing pretty well.

A day at the races in Kenya is likely to be a remarkable experience, whether you’re a seasoned equestrian or just seeking a fun day out.

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