Horse Racing and Riding
The development of the Paso Fino breed of horse is closely intertwined with the history of Puerto Rico, starting with the arrival of Juan Ponce de León in 1508. Among the explorer’s cargo were 50 horses from which the birth of the breed can be traced.
Horse races were once held in the streets of Old San Juan as far back as 1610. Today gamblers can bet on winners at the big modern Hipódromo Camarero in Canóvanas, about 10 miles east of San Juan. Races are held Wednesdays through Mondays.
Horses are still used as a mode of transportation in rural parts of the main island and throughout Vieques and Culebra. There are several stables that offer trail rides, including Pintos R Us (Carr. 413 Int., Barrio Puntas, Rincón, 787/361-3639, www.pintosrus.com), Hacienda Carabalí (Carr. 992, km 3, Luquillo, 787/889-5820 or 787/889-4954, www.haciendacarabalipuertorico.com), and Tropical Trail Rides (Carr. 4466, km 1.8, Isabela, 787/872- 9256, info [at] tropicaltrailrides [dot] com, www.tropicaltrailrides.com).
© Suzanne Van Atten from Moon Puerto Rico, 2nd Edition