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Global Warming Is Marring the World’s Most Exclusive Horse Races – Mother Jones

Global Warming Is Marring the World’s Most Exclusive Horse Races – Mother Jones

Global Warming Is Marring the World’s Most Exclusive Horse Races – Mother Jones

Horses and riders take part in the White Turf Races in 2012.Arno Balzarini/AP

This story was first published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Each February, the rich and famous descend upon Switzerland’s St. Moritz, not just for the slopes and après-ski but for one of the world’s most exclusive horse races, held on ice.

The luxury resort has a nearby airport that caters to private jets. Visitors can be seen being taken around by helicopters and Ferraris. However, wealthy guests are starting to think about the climate crisis.

This is because The White Turf Race the only such event in the world held on a frozen lake, is under threat. It is held on a vast expanse water directly beneath the Swiss resort. Due to global heating, the lake has begun melting.

St. Moritz: It was originally built as a ski resort Britons. It has been a popular destination for extreme snowsports since then, including the Cresta Run, a fast-paced toboggan race, to skijoring, where you stand on skis while being pulled along by a horse on the frozen lakes.

The White Turf is a tradition that has been held since 114 years. It attracts spectators, musicians and caterers as well as horses and their trainers. Until now, no one thought anything of riding horses, ice skating and dancing over a frozen lake—the ice was always known to be steady and thick.

Last weekend, 7000 people from all over the globe flocked to the lake to witness the race. But organizers watched in horror as water “pushed up” under the ice, putting the races in jeopardy.

The race organizers claim they have had to reduce the weight of attractions as the climate warms and the lake melts. This includes telling luxury kitchens serving oysters and lobster not to bring too many equipment.

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White Turf runners were horrified to see the VIP tent crack under the ice. It had to be taken down and rebuilt on thicker, more stable ice. Because of melting ice in some parts of the lake, the race had to be cut short this year.

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