Forget horse racing or the dogs. In west Bali, Buffalo racing is the talk of the town when the Makepung Buffalo Races come to Jembrana.
If you find yourself attending the races on a regular basis, you might want to consider swapping horse for buffalo at the Makepung Buffalo Races in Bali. This traditional event is sure to give you all the thrills of Ascot and the Grand National (minus the betting of course).
Every year in Jembrana, West Bali, a buffalo grand prix takes place where dozens of buffaloes are paired together, attached to wooden ploughs and ridden by jockeys. Heats are held over the course of a few months, usually in the district of Melaya, before the finals conclude what is known as the Jembrana Regent's Cup.
This long-running event has become a highly anticipated cultural competition for the people in the district and for those who travel to the west of Bali to catch one of the unique races, it's certainly something you won't forget. For the entertainment of visitors, race days also include a buffalo fashion show where owners of the animals will decorate them with ornaments in an attempt to win the best dressed accolade.
Race dates vary from year to year but usually fall on Sunday mornings between July and November. A day of racing can last for five hours so you'll certainly get enough action in return for your journey out towards the west. But as you'd expect, the dress code isn't as fancy as Ascot and the Grand National, so don't be turning up in formal attire or a hat that's bigger than the buffaloes.
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