MARSH TACKY BEACH RACES
Racing Marsh Tackies on the beach was once a wintertime tradition after each year’s harvest with the winner taking home bragging rights. The Marsh Tacky Beach Race is presented by the Carolina Marsh Tacky Association (CMTA) to showcase an endangered breed of horse that was once a mainstay of the SC Sea Islands and coast. CMTA members donate their time, talent, and travel expense to present the race. There is no entry fee for riders or admission fee for spectators and there is no compensation or monetary prize for those competing — only bragging rights and the joy and pride of introducing the Marsh Tacky to thousands of new enthusiasts.
It is with this spirit that we present the Marsh Tacky races.
To enter a horse in the race, you must be a member of CMTA with membership dues current by the registration deadline. The horse must be included in the Livestock Conservancy’s Marsh Tacky Registry / Stud Book. You must have proof of a current negative Coggins test, and return the race entry form by the deadline posted on the CMTA website.
“An eight-hundred-pound Tacky will ride a twelve-hundred-pound quarter horse into the ground. I could jump on a Tacky and ride him clean to Charleston.”
– DP Lowther / Garden and Gun / April/May 2009
– See the Events Page for the new Kiawah Cup Race on March 25, 2017.
6th (2014), 7th (2015), and 8th(2016) Annual Marsh Tacky Beach Races – No Races Held
5th Annual Beach Race – Daufuskie Island
April 27, 2013
2013 Beach Race Winners
4th Annual Beach Race – Hilton Head Island, SC
March 18, 2012
The 2012 races drew a crowd of more than 7,000 spectators! 17 horses entered the races held on Coligny Beach in Hilton Head Island. James Bakker and Sage won the gelding division; Wylie Bell and Southern Breeze took the mare division; and Amber Smith rode Marion Gohagan’s stud, Sabata, for the win in the stallion class. The final race of the day should have included three horses, Sabata, Sage and Breeze, but Wylie Bell decided to scratch Breeze who appeared overheated. James Bakker and Sage took home the coveted Marsh Tacky Cup. Longtime Marsh Tacky breeder and CMTA President, DP Lowther, was the race starter. Announcing the race was State Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. Thanks to all who volunteered and supported this exciting event!2012 Beach Race Heats & Finals
2012 Beach Race Winners
3rd Annual Beach Race – Hilton Head Island, SC
February 27, 2011
An estimated 7,000 spectators came out on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to see 20 rare equines race for bragging rights and the winners cup at our Third Annual Marsh Tacky Beach Race on Hilton Head Island’s Coligny Beach! Congratulations to our winners!2011 Beach Race Heats & Finals
2011 Beach Race Winners
2nd Annual Beach Race – Hilton Head Island, SC
February 18, 2010
An estimated 5,000 spectators watched 20 rare equines race for bragging rights and the winners cup at our Second Annual Marsh Tacky Beach Race on Hilton Head Island’s Coligny Beach!2010 Beach Race Heats & Finals
2010 Beach Race Winners
1st Annual Beach Race – Hilton Head Island, SC
February 1, 2009
The First Annual Marsh Tacky Beach Race revived the tradition of locals racing horses on the beach after the harvest, before the island was commercially developed. The race brought out a surprising 3,000 spectators to Mitchelsville Beach! In this race, the horses ran around a pole at the end of the track and back to the starting line. After one collision and a few near misses, the race was modified to a straight race in 2010.2009 Beach Race Heats & Finals