There are few more glamorous winter sporting events than the White Turf horse races on the frozen lake at St Moritz. The meetings, which date back to 1906, take place on three Sundays in February and comprise a mixture of flat races, trotting races and the spectacular Scandinavian skikjoring contests, in which competitors are pulled along on skis behind a horse. British racehorse trainers, such as the enterprising George Baker at Manton, take runners out to the meeting, along with their Swiss, French and German counterparts, and when the sun shines beneath a clear blue alpine sky there’s a fabulous atmosphere. The crowd plays its part, with most spectators resplendent in furs and shades and sipping champagne.
This year’s Sunday programme gets underway on February 8, but on the evening of February 6 there will be an inaugural Night Turf St Moritz fixture with a similar programme of races – but on a different course – taking place under floodlights. A ritzy upbeat ambience is assured, and to get the most from it, VIP admission tickets (SFr500, about £325) can be purchased in advance. The package includes cocktails on arrival, exclusive grandstand seats, dinner and an after-racing party complete with concert, DJ and complimentary bar in the VIP tent on the lake.