Trotting in the Dordogne is popular with most of the races taking place during the summer months.

There are two types of trotting – one where the jockey is mounted in the saddle, the other is when the horse is driven by the jockey in a sulky (lightweight, two-wheeled, single-seat cart).

Enthusiasts often go to the race course (hippodrome) for lunch before spending a leisurely afternoon watching several races and placing a bet or two.

When visiting a racing fixture in the Dordogne, visitors will pay an entry fee of approximately six euros (includes a programme) and have the option to buy lunch and drinks from the bar. Lunches are basic but good quality and value for money. Or, you are welcome to take your own picnic and chairs etc. You can normally sit or stand wherever you like. There is often some additional entertainment for young children, such as a bouncy castle.

The race courses are usually found just outside of the town. Follow the sign for “Hippodrome”.

I’ve been to trotting races at Monflanquin and Castillonnès (both in the northern Lot-et-Garonne region, not far from the Dordogne). They are very laid-back, country events and make for a relaxing afternoon. By the time you have read this, I will probably have added Issigeac (south-east of Bergerac).

But the one I’m most looking forward to is the evening fixture at Villeréal (again, northern Lot-et Garonne) that takes place once a week from mid-July to mid-August.