In the prologue of the founding by-laws of the SOCIEDAD DE CARRERAS DE CABALLOS DE SANLUCAR DE BARRAMEDA, printed in the month of November of 1845, the following can be read:
"In the city of Sanlúcar de Barrameda on the 20th day of the month of September, year 1845, with the following being present: Ramón Larraz, Count of Monteagudo, José M. de Pastrana, José M. Lacave, Tomás Woulfe, Rufino de Eguino, Mariano Nogués, Fernando Gómez de Barreda y Torres, José Manuel de Molina, Francisco Javier Leonar, Pedro Carrere, Antonio de Ambrosy, Juan N. Colón, Santiago de Luchi and Pedro Castelló; it was agreed to form a Society, which under the title of SOCIEDAD DE CARRERAS DE CABALLOS DE SANLUCAR DE BARRAMEDA (Horseracing Society of Sanlúcar de Barrameda), promotes the Andalusian horse breed, whose interesting branch is well known for its use in this country’s agriculture. For this intent some by-laws were created, which are filed for the review of the Political Head of this Province, so that he may give his approval. Being created and administered through the Mayor of this city, they were approved by the higher authority of the province this past October 22nd. In a session held on the 31st of the same month, the society was established and the printing of the following by-laws or regulations was agreed".
In the founding by-laws of the "SOCIEDAD DE CARRERAS DE CABALLOS DE SANLUCAR DE BARRAMEDA " it expressly states that one of the activities that the society will carry out will be the holding of horse races, with the first ones being held on the beaches of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, in the afternoon of August 31st, year 1845.
It has traditionally been admitted that the origin of the “Horse Races on the Sanlúcar de Barrameda beach" started with the informal competitions that were held by the owners of horse stock that was used for transporting fish from the former port of Bajo de Guía to the local markets and nearby towns.
The first “English-style” horse races held in Spain took place on the estate "Alameda de Osuna" (Madrid) in the year 1835. There were some intermittent equestrian events (1835, 1843, 1849) which started a following in our country for the “speed” tryouts, very similar to those that continue to be held today in the Spanish racetracks of Madrid, San Sebastián, Seville, Mijas, Dos Hermanas and Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and in racetracks around the world.
After many years during which the " SOCIEDAD DE CARRERAS DE CABALLOS DE SANLUCAR DE BARRAMEDA " was solely responsible for holding the annual equestrian competitions on the beach of Sanlúcar, as a social event most representative of its annual activities, the organizing of horse races fell under the authority of the City Council, which included them in its summer programmes as the most attractive and unique festivity, among the many offered to the residents of Sanlúcar and numerous visitors.
There is no documentation or information that can refute the “Horse Races on the Sanlúcar Beaches” as being the second in antiquity that were regulated in Spain, and the most ancient among those that are currently held in the country.
As of 1981, the “Horse Races on the Sanlúcar Beaches" have gathered momentum with the re-founding of the former " SOCIEDAD DE CARRERAS DE CABALLOS DE SANLUCAR DE BARRAMEDA " and the approval of its by-laws on March 3rd of that year. Since then, the horse races, under the exclusive direction of the " SOCIEDAD DE CARRERAS DE CABALLOS DE SANLUCAR DE BARRAMEDA ", have reached a scale that was unheard of until then, exceeding the splendour achieved in the first decades of the 20th century. The competition days were expanded to two periods of three days each; the Sanlúcar races were given official status and they were integrated into the national equestrian circuit – along with Madrid, San Sebastián and Seville, Dos Hermanas and Mijas- and received decisive support from the “Society for the Promotion of Horse Breeding of Spain”, which made them famous worldwide.
Today, the Horse Races on the Sanlúcar beaches enjoy strong support and stand out as one of the main events of the summer in Andalucía. This unique show on the world stage, declared as an International Tourist Interest, captures the attention of thousands of Sanlúcar residents and visitors, who every afternoon of the races approach the Sanlúcar beaches to enjoy the purebreds competing on a natural racetrack, which in the afternoons of the month of August give us a low tide.