Horses are perhaps the greatest love of man, as a species. And in Machva, a region in western Serbia, horses are truly loved. For generations and generations, humans have relied on these noble animals to conquer this great plain that is Machva.
It should come as no surprise, then, that a town like Bogatic (barely more than 7,000 inhabitants live here) has a hippodrome, a running hippodrome that runs races regularly.
It should be no surprise, because in the Serbian warrior tradition it was written that while the other people from Serbia were given horses when they went to war, the Machvans brought their own horses to the army.
From this time there is a saying that speaks of the relationship and love of Machvans to horses: “Not even the king’s horse is better than the one of Machvan!”
The first races in Bogatić were held almost 60 years ago, on May 1, 1950. Many Machvan jockeys and championship-winning horses are still remembered, and people came to Bogatic not only from Machva, but from all over Serbia to watch the races of these beautiful animals.
Then there were times of trouble, and the hippodrome no longer worked. Fortunately, the municipality of Bogatic became its owner again, and the hoof thud echoes across the wide plain again, along with the roar of excited spectators, old and young.
Every year, there are several racing days, where the fastest horses go head to head, trotters and gallopers. Even the most demanding equestrian lovers from Europe and the world will not remain indifferent after watching horse racing in Bogatić, we can promise you that!
One of the people responsible for the revival of equestrian sport in Machva is Dragan Ruzic, president of the Equestrian Club “Macvanin” from Bogatic:
– There is a lot of work to make a racetrack worthy of a sports center. Bear in mind that only larger cities have a hippodrome, so we can boast that Bogatic, as a small municipality, is lucky to have a hippodrome that has the most modern watering system for watering the trail in Serbia. Maintenance is done throughout the year, with most of the work being done before the race day itself. We really get a lot of help from Bogatić Public Utility Company, which helps us to make the racetrack look beautiful. Without their involvement, it would be much harder for us. I would also like to emphasize that the local self-government has recognized how much equestrian sport in Machva is appreciated, and with their financial support we keep racing days alive. Prize payments are regular, which is not typical in other hippodromes. I can not but mention the Tourist organization of Bogatic, which is also very helpful to us, especially for the Christmas races where about 7-8 thousand fans of equestrian sport gather. As well as numerous sponsors who are there throughout the year to meet us for the needs of the equestrian club “Macvanin” Bogatic. It motivates me, above all, to do all this, the love for horses that is passed down from generation to generation in my family. My own children are the owners of racing horses. In addition, I want this hippodrome to develop and become one of the tourist centers of the municipality of Bogatić. Otherwise, work is currently underway to provide the facilities for the construction of the stands, modeled on Europe’s leading hippodromes.
As mentioned by Ruzic, the public utility company “Bogatic” also provides a great help in strengthening equestrian sport in Bogatic.
– We maintain the hippodrome space throughout the year, regardless of the number of racing days or their schedule. The reason for maintaining the racetrack throughout the year is the stay of a large number of visitors, fans of the sport and the stay of the horse owners and trainers who keep them on the racetrack both in the upbringing and in the conditions of daily training. Of course, the desire of the Public utility company leadership and the leading people in the management of the Equestrian Club “Macvanin” to make this space look beautiful and attractive to all visitors throughout the year is not negligible, since events such as the biggest event in our municipality “Highwaymen Night” and its the most beautiful segment, the “Machvan Wedding”, in which the carriage departs from our beautiful hippodrome, begin here. The activity of PUC “Bogatic” itself is reflected in the arrangement of the visitors’ space: stands, parking lots and spaces used by the competitors. We maintain the race track itself, the warm-up area for the race itself, and the measurement. The additional involvement of our company employees is also reflected in the installation of waste disposal, removal and emptying bins after each race day – says Vladan Popadic, director of the Public Utility Company Bogatic.
This text is part of the project “Seven Wonders of Bogatic” co-financed by the Municipality of Bogatic.
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