Day At The Track

Hungarians entertain Amateur drivers

06:27 AM 31 Aug 2017 NZST
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The Lazar Equistrian Park
The Lazar Equistrian Park which is 35 km from Budapest, in the heart of Domonyvolgy

Five members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association are in Budapest, Hungary getting ready to clash with the harness racing Hungarian Amateurs in a race on Friday, (Sept. 1) and one on Saturday,(Sept. 2)

The team consisting of Joe Faraldo, Alan Schwartz, Peter Kleinhans, Paul Minore and Bob Davis arrived in Budapest on Monday and are the guests of their counterparts and prior to the competition they have been treated to the wonders and history of Hungary.

Below is from NAADA team leader, Joe Faraldo.

"Buda, the earlier settled portion of this city established in 1245, was named after Attila the Hun's brother, and was joined with Pest a town on the other side of the beautiful Danube to become the capitol city of a Budapest.

We are not in The Grand Budapest Hotel since it only exists in the movies. We landed in the Hotel Budapest safe and sound on Monday morning. Treated to a welcome dinner the first night by the Hungarian's team leader and an old friend Tamas Keleman.

"Godollo castle was the first stop on Tuesday. A detailed tour was arranged and our guide whose knowledge of the castle and history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was exceptional in every detail, made the tour much more meaningful. After that we were off to The Lazar Equistrian Park which is 35 km from Budapest, in the heart of Domonyvolgy and is owned by the coach driving champions Vilmos and Zoltan Lazar.

"The resort nestles among the picturesque lakes of the Godollo Hills and is home to the champion carriage horses in Europe. There are two trophy rooms and the Lazar brothers have won enough events to pack those rooms to the ceiling. The obstacle courses these men steer their four charges through against the clock demands very high talented driving skills . No wonder the horsemanship demonstrated there made us feel just a bit inferior as these pros, schooled, no doubt by the brothers, teamed four at high speeds while perched standing atop two in the second row. At other times riders performed fetes with horses that must have taken years to perfect. Just getting them used to the crack of bull whips above their heads, to sitting them down on their bottoms was amazing.

"The Park also has an excellent restaurant and from there a trip to the "Las Vegas" casino, a stop at the Buda Palace and a nitecap at the Gresham Palace topped off the eve of the all important draw for the Friday and Saturday's races in the Hungarian American Friendship competition.

"In Hungary there are only 500 trotters in the entire country but their industry is hard at work with features surrounding the races. Food trucks, entertainment for kids and adults and beer, plenty of beer.

by Joe Faraldo with John Manzi

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