Every Saturday at 6pm the Hipódrom club on Menorca opens to the public. Many locals are joined by some holiday makers to spend a couple of hours sitting in the sunshine, enjoying cool drinks from the bar and watching or betting on horse chariots racing round the large dirt track.
Each horse is numbered and driven by a rider from the small chariot behind. The day we visited there were four races with 5-7 horses in each race. We picked up a race sheet on the way in that told us which horses were in each race. We then found out that you could either place bets inside the Hipódrom building or with the totes outside. Bets cost a minimum of €1.50.
Before each race, the horses ride round the track so you can have a look whilst making your mind up which one to place your bet on. On the evening we visited, some of the riders were dressed up for the occasion with matching outfits and masks for their horses.
We placed a €1.50 bet on horse number 5 in the first race and it won. We collected our winnings which, on top of the €1.50 came to €0.10 so I’m not sure there are big takings to be won so much as an entertaining evening to be had. However, maybe we just didn’t understand the odds or maybe the odds were better with the totes outside as we bet inside with the shorter queue.
It was very much a family event attended by many generations and children are more than welcome to watch the races. The races took place every half an hour which gave plenty of time to watch the horses, get drinks, place bets or relax in the sunshine.
Hipódrom Municipal de Maó provides an unusual and relaxed, inexpensive couple of hours on a Saturday evening. We spent €5 entry per adult and €3 per child, bet €1.50 on each race and bought a non-compulsory drink each. There were also ice creams available to purchase in the bar.
Taking an autistic child to Hipódrom Municipal de Maó?
There is music piped to all outside seating so ear defenders may be needed.
The club end of the venue was fairly crowded. There is tiered stone seating which was much less busy the further you get towards the entrance.
There is plenty of space for children to move around in.
The horses are fun to spot and watch.
There was a green tractor which smoothed the track between races and a large white water truck which wet the track. These may be of interest.
Sitting quietly is not a requirement.
The smell wasn’t too bad but the dust from the track was noticeable during races.
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