Lewa Halikir Horse Racing in East Sumba Regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province

Sumba Island of East Nusa Tenggara Province becomes a major attraction for those who are visiting the region. So, what can tourists do there? In a nutshell, these people are looking for beautiful beaches to visit. Still, some of them are attracted in the presence of local horse racing called Lewa Halikir. Also, it belongs to East Sumba Regency. In the past, the location was used by the locals to perform an illegal horse race. These days, though, the government has decided to conduct an annual event so any horse racers are allowed to join the competition. For tourists, the racing becomes another attraction that they can enjoy when visiting Sumba Island later.

The Nuance
Well, tourists should not expect sophisticated facilities there. What they may find is only a regular racetrack surrounded by trees and bushes. In terms of nuance, the site looks dry and dusty. Despite the fact, tourists keep coming since they are attracted to the race and want to take some pictures while watching the competition. Here is the thing. Visitors won’t find any eateries and toilets there. Thus, it is recommended to carry snacks and bottled water when visiting the race track.

Exploring Lewa Halikir Horse Racing
Even though the site was once used by illegal horse racers, the local government had put some efforts to facilitate those people. This explains why the locals and outsiders are able to participate in the official events especially the one called Open Victory Cup in East Sumba Regency. During the registration, though, participants should undergo several procedures including the measure of the horse. The height and size of the horse determine the class, after all. Thus, the race can be may run fairly for all participants depending on what class they are joining.

Usually, the audiences are nearby villagers and those who live on Sumba Island. As the time goes by, though, tourists and outsiders start coming to the racetrack to watch the race directly. They also carry a camera and take some pictures of the race! What visitors need to do is to pay the ticket and follow any rules there. Littering is quite prohibited, without a doubt. Also, they should shut off the flash feature of the camera when taking pictures of the race. Otherwise, it may disturb the horse and make them uncomfortable.

The race usually starts early in the morning at 9 a.m. Though, it may vary depending on the policy of the committee, so tourists should get exact information regarding the schedule beforehand. Later, after the race ends, tourists can learn more facts related Sumba’s horses! According to the locals, the most significant species is called Sandalwood which is both strong and swift. It even becomes one of the best species of horses in Indonesia!

Nearby Attractions

  • Djawaray Waterfall
  • Lapau Waterfall
  • Kambata Panjurang Waterfall
  • Manjali Waterfall
  • Laiwi Waterfall

How to Get There
For those coming from Kupang City, they need to take an airplane at El Tari International Airport and head to Umbu Mehang Kunda Airport. The flight takes only 30 minutes, actually. Once arriving at Waingapu City, they only need reach Lewapaku Village, Lewa Sub-District (where the racetrack resides). The distance is 61.4 km, so the trip may take approximately 1 hour and 23 minutes. As for the tip, make sure to take Adi Sucipto Street for a faster trip.

Where to Stay

  • Amidala Villa
  • Elvin Hotel
  • Jimmi Hotel
  • Elim Hotel

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