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Benghazi Festival this Week Celebrates Horses and Horsemanship.

From the ancient times of the Numidians, Libya has been famed for its horses and its horsemen. In Benghazi this week, this heritage will be celebrated in the Horsemen of Libya festival.

The eight-day event which starts of Thursday will see some 60 horses and riders from all over the country take part in a series of events designed to show the courage and skill of competitors and the strength and speed of their mounts. 

Under the Qaddafi regime, equestrianism was discouraged and what most riding was confined to the military. Despite the conflict of the last three years, horses and horsemanship have continued a post-Revolutionary revival. There has been a recovery in breeding and in auctions. 

A fortnight ago the Libyan Horse Racing Authority began a five-week programme of racing at Tripoli’s Busetta course. 

This week’s festival in Benghazi has attracted competitors in particular from Tripoli, Misrata and Surman. Besides equestrian events, there will be lectures and poetry readings. The week closes with a gala dinner at which winners will be presented with their trophies.

(Libya herald)

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