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White Turf St. Moritz 2023 – 116 Years of International Horse Racing on Snow

Valeria Walther wins Credit Suisse Skikjöring Trophy and becomes Queen of the Engadine for the first time

All images Andy Mettler

The third and final Race Sunday of this year’s White Turf was once again held in glorious sunshine. The highlight was the crowning of Valeria Selina Walther as the new Queen of the Engadine after winning the overall standings in the Credit Suisse Skikjöring Trophy. Valeria Walther is only the second woman in the history of this traditional discipline to achieve this. The Evangelos Pistiolis Foundation 83rd St. Moritz Grand Prix, which was also eagerly awaited, was carried home by Moderator. Due to the exceptionally warm temperatures and related safety precautions, the race was run over the shortened distance of 800 meters.

Impression of the final of the skikjoering series ‘Grand Prix Credit Suisse' at the White Turf St. Moritz taking place on the frozen lake of St. Moritz, Switzerland, February 19, 2023. Valeria Selina Walther is the new Queen of the Engadine after winning the overall standings in the Credit Suisse Skikjöring Trophy

In the first flat race of the day everything seemed to go according to plan. After the favorite and previous Sunday’s winner Whaze had been declared a non-runner, Identified moved up to favorite and immediately hit the front galloping into the last turn with Blazing Comet at his side. But it was here that Rene Piechulek fell. Jenny Langhard was able to avoid the incident on The Iconist and the pair went on to win the race ahead of Ventura Tormenta and Tapeten Toni.

As a result, the Evangelos Pistiolis Foundation 83rd Grand Prix of St. Moritz was delayed for half an hour – the staff wanted to try to roughen up the surface in the tricky spots. But shortly before the horses were brought onto the track, the decision was made that the distance would be shortened to 800 meters. Immediately after the start, Moderator, owned by Anton and Verena Kräuliger, took the lead together with Movin Time. Towards the finish, a duel between the 11:1 outsider Moderator and Movin Time emerged, which Moderator won by a head.

In the final flat race of the event, also shortened to 800 meters, Mark Hänni’s Play All Day prevailed ridden by Rene Piechulek, who confidently repelled the attacks of Saphira Dream and Fiesta.

Skikjöring entirely in female hands

The skikjöring race, the Grand Prix Credit Suisse, was run over the regular distance. Moonflight withstood all attacks with Valeria Schiergen on her skis. The gray, trained by Peter Schiergen and owned by Murezzan Racing Stable, relegated Atlantico to runner up. Thanks to two second places at this year’s White Turf, Valeria Selina Walther, Atlantico’s rider, was nevertheless crowned Queen of the Engadine for the first time. Third-placed Los Angeles was also ridden by a woman, Leta Joos.

Fourteenth of July dethrones Kiss Forever H.C.

In the Grand Prix Pontresina, the two dominating horses in the previous trotting races, Fourteenth of July and Kiss Forever H.C., met. The latter also coming in as defending champion and Stephanie Theiler immediately positioned him behind Fourteenth of July and Jean-Bernard Matthey, who had taken the lead. Although Theiler attacked in the run-in, Hedy Schlatter’s eight-year-old was always in control and took his third snow victory in as many starts.

38,000 guests over all three weekends

Last but not least, White Turf 2023 was a great success in terms of spectator numbers, betting turnover and the atmosphere in the tent city. Thanks to bright weather and warm temperatures, a total of 11,000 spectators found their way onto the frozen Lake St. Moritz on today’s race day. Together with the popular Family Days held on Saturdays, 38,000 people visited this year’s White Turf – a new record!

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