Tobago Goat & Crab Races

If you happen to be in Tobago around Easter, this is a fun way to spend your Sunday afternoon. Pay your admission fee and take a seat for the annual Goat & Crab Races that have been a yearly tradition since 1925. Get a spot out of the sun to watch an afternoon of bare-footed jockeys running behind their goats urging them on to victory. The locals flock to the small stadiums to watch this unique event. If you are feeling lucky, there is usually a man taking bets before the start of the race. Betting on the races is not sanctioned by the stadium but it is a fun way to make the race more exciting.

There is a local steel drum band playing during the event and several places to grab popcorn and a snack. This event is taken so seriously that you will see jockey’s at the beach training their goats in the two months leading up to the race. The chosen method of training the goats is to have them swim in the ocean to get into shape and feeding the goats with a special diet to ensure peak performance for race day.

After watching the goats run several heats down the track, you will see a circle drawn on the stadium field. Each child will coax their chosen, blue crab tied to a string to be the first crab out of the circle. They yell and poke the crabs with their bamboo rods. There is a lot on the line for the crabs, as the losers end up as someone’s dinner.

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