Goat racing is a sport that originated in Buccoo, Tobago. Goat racing historically occurs on the Tuesday after Easter, which is known as ‘Easter Tuesday’ and is an unofficial public holiday in Tobago.
Today, it is called the Buccoo Goat Race Festival, which is a popular and lively event that draws thousands of spectators. Also part of the festival is crab racing where large blue crabs and their jockeys are placed in the centre of a large circle and coaxed towards the circle’s perimeter by their jockeys. The first crab to breach the circle is the winner.
Buccoo, a small seaside village on the southwest coast of Tobago, has hosted goat racing since 1925. Goat racing developed as a poor man’s equivalent to horse racing In the early twentieth-century, since horse racing was reserved for the local elite. Since horse racing traditionally occurred on the Monday after Easter Sunday, Easter Tuesday was chosen to run goat races by the Buccoo Goat Race Festival Committee, a sub-committee of the Buccoo Village Council, that organises the event annually.
The village of Mt. Pleasant is also hosts to the goat racing festival which now occurs on Easter Monday. A large gathering of family, friends and acquaintances also adds to the event’s popularity and attendance on the day.