The race is the only old knight's game in Istria which, in addition to being the guardian of tradition and culture, has also become a real attraction, combining horsemanship and sportsmanship.
It is a popular equestrian competition launched in 1976 in Barban, modeled on the knightly competition that was held in that city at the end of the 17th century at the free fair on the feast of Pentecost. The oldest surviving record of the Race dates back to 1696, and the competitors were mostly nobles and citizens of Istrian towns who owned horses and knightly equipment. Each competitor participated in 3 races, trying to gallop with a spear to pierce a ring composed of two cross-connected metal circular rings.
Since then, it has soon grown into an annual sports and entertainment event. Its organization has been taken care of by the Ring Race Society since 1979. The race has become a trademark of Barban and one of the most famous summer events in Istria.
Today's competitors - Barban knights must in three races, in less than 12 seconds to overcome a track as long as 150 meters and hit the ring with a spear. 16 horsemen in the race wear Barban folk costumes.
To be able to follow the race is this way of scoring: A goal in the middle carries 3 points (points), a goal in the field above carries two, below the middle one, and in the side fields half a point. The rider who wins the most points in three races becomes the winner of the Race.
The official opening of the 45th Race program begins with the raising of the flag on Friday, August 21 at 8:30 p.m. hours when the names of the 16 horsemen who deserved to take part in the Race this year will be read.
Although this year's Race will be held in changed circumstances, the tradition continues and is nurtured and all epidemiological measures are respected.