Ribbon race on horseback

The ribbon race on horseback was declared a Festivity of National Tourist Interest in the year 2000. This tournament takes place during the Patron Saint Festivities in honour of Ntra. Sra. Virgen de las Virtudes. During the afternoon of the 8th September, more than twenty horsemen gather to take part in the race. 

Fiestas Patronales 2019

Where does this tradition come from?

This tradition is inspired by the medieval “jousts and tournaments”. These took place both at court and in the fiefdoms when there were disagreements between knights and they settled them by means of a duel. But they also took place for festive reasons (e.g. coronations, marriages). Thus, these “tournaments” were held for recreational purposes. There was a great variety of games, among them: the fire of the hoop. This game had similarities to the dynamics of the ribbon races on horseback. 

This game consisted of inserting the tip of a lance into one of the metal hoops, which hung tied by a knotted ribbon. The competing knights chose a lady to whom they offered their triumphs. The lady accepted the knight as her “champion” and tied a kerchief in the knight’s colours around her arm. 

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