The Witcher 3 Horse Race Locations, How To Win

Horse races are one of the many side activities that you can take part in to take a break from the deep and branching storylines of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Similar to playing Gwent or jumping into Fistfighting, these side activities can make your overall gaming experience more pleasant and interactive since you get to discover those wonderful parts of the Witcher world that are separate from just slaying monsters all day long.

Do note that horse races are secondary quests in the game. You need to win all of them to unlock the Fast and Furious achievement/trophy in The Witcher 3.

Besides your goal of getting a 100-percent completion run, horse races are also a source of making gold and acquiring all-important Horse Upgrades for Roach.

The following guide will tell you where to find all of the horse racing events in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. You will also get to learn some tips to help you win every race.

Where are the horse races in The Witcher 3?

There are a total of 11 horse racing events that you can take part in The Witcher 3. All you have to do is reach any of the locations below at any time of the day to start a race.

Crow’s Perch Horse Race

Location: The crossroads west of Crow’s Perch and east of Blackbough in Velen.
How to start: Check the noticeboard in Velen.
Challengers: Stuttering Mattko, Iron-Arse Hans, and Black Bogdan.
Rewards: Crowns, Racing Saddle, Saddlebags, and Horse Blinders.

There are three races to win here, one for each challenger. You only need to complete a single lap for each race on the same race circuit that is fairly straightforward without any challenging twists and turns.

You only need to look out for some loose barrels that may appear as an obstacle in your path right after the first curve and after the bridge. They will only appear when racing against Iron-Arse Hans and Black Bogdan. However, their spawn is completely random, so you might not even face any obstacles in your race.

If you notice time suddenly slowing down, it means that an obstacle is appearing before you. Make sure to move off the path a bit to go past the obstacle without having to slow down.

The Great Erasmus Vegelbud Memorial Derby (Part 1)

Location: The Vegelbud Residence in Novigrad.
How to start: Complete the Get Junior main quest and then find the race announcer in the middle of Hierarch Square in Novigrad.
Challengers: Seamus Holt, Viscount Rommer, and Luc Vegelbud.
Rewards: Crowns, Superior Racing Saddle, Rugged Saddlebags, and Superior Cavalry Saddle.

There are four races to win here and the last one only becomes available if you win the first three.

Unlike the races before, the Vegelbud Memorial Derby requires you to pay 100 crowns as an entrance fee for every race. In addition, every race in the Derby has a different route that is fairly long.

Roach will run out of stamina often, so you need to know when to push her hard and when to let her regain her stamina.

The first two races are pretty easy to win. You will then have to race Luc Vegelbud during the rain. The one thing to know about this race is the split in the track. You can take either route without worrying about losing time. Do not slow down to think about whether to go left or right.

Once you have defeated Luc Vegelbud, it is time to race the main boss to complete the side quest.

The Great Erasmus Vegelbud Memorial Derby (Part 2)

Location: The Grassy Knoll between Novigrad and Velen.
How to start: Win all three races of the Derby and agree to enter the Palio race.
Challengers: Unnamed racers.
Rewards: Crowns, and Racing Horse Blinders.

You will receive a message from Cleaver asking you to race for him in the Palio. If you agree, the game will immediately take you to the Palio for the final race.

Note that you can only race the Palio once. If you lose, you have to reload your previous save file. Hence, make sure to save your game before agreeing in case you lose the Palio race.

The Palio is the longest race track in The Witcher 3. You will be racing all across the lush Grassy Knoll south of Novigrad. Winning this race is going to net you a large amount of gold.

The Heroes’ Pursuits: Fayrlund

Location: On the road northeast of Farylund and south of Rannvaig in Skellige.
How to start: Reach the marked location and speak with the race master.
Challengers: Red Kikka.
Rewards: Crowns, and Zerrikanian Saddlebags.

The first race of The Heroes’ Pursuits side quest features a short and easy track that circles from the cliff to finish behind Fayrlund.

You will not face any obstacles like in the Derby but keep a sharp eye on Red Rikka. She will often race past you. The only way to beat her is to wait for her to make some mistakes. The moment you see her slow down, push Roach to gallop ahead.

The Heroes’ Pursuits: Kaer Trolde

Location: On the road just above the Rannvaig signpost in Skellige.
How to start: Reach the marked location and speak with the race master.
Challengers: Speedy Osvald, Arve Oarsman, Fishbreath Aegir, Bald Sigge.
Rewards: Crowns, and Zerrikanian Blinders.

If you managed to win the previous race, you can do the same here. There are no obstacles are tricky routes to worry about in this race. Keep a check on your stamina and you should be the first to cross the finish line at Kaer Trolde.

The Heroes’ Pursuits: Fyresdal

Location: On the road between the Blandare and Palisade signposts in Skellige.
How to start: Reach the marked location and speak with the race master.
Challengers: Fishbreath Aegir.
Rewards: Crowns, and Cavalry Saddle.

Be ready for a storm to hit you during the race. While the weather will have no impact on the race, it will add some drama to what is a long race track.

You do not have to worry about any obstacles in the way. It is a simple, but long horse race.

The Heroes’ Pursuits: For the Goddess’ Glory!

Location: The Larvik signpost on Hindarsfjall, all the way east of the main Skellige region.
How to start: Speak with Svana or check the noticeboard in Larvik.
Challengers: Astrid, the Vipress.
Rewards: Crowns, and Zerrikanian Saddle.

This is the last horse race of The Heroes’ Pursuits side quest. If you win this race, you will be crowned the horse racing champion in Skellige. Do note that you have to win the previous three races to qualify for the finals.

Astrid is not that difficult to beat except that you must keep an eye on the racing track. There are several sharp turns where you need to slow down a bit or risk going off the path. Except them as soon as you get close to Freya’s Garden.

Secondly, when you reach the crossroads, you do not have to make the sharp turn. You can simply go straight to get back in the race. This will save you precious time and allow you to overtake Astrid.

Keep in mind that even if you lose this race, you can keep challenging Astrid until you win.

Swift as the Western Winds

Location: The Upper Mill signpost, located far east of Novigrad.
How to start: Speak with the Ofier merchant and praise his horse, Babiyetza.
Challengers: Dulla kh’Amanni.
Rewards: Crowns, and Ofieri Stock Saddle.

This race is exclusive to the Hearts of Stone expansion. The race itself is fairly straightforward and short. You will, however, need to be ready for some obstacles. There is going to be another merchant who will be throwing barrels on the track. You need to dodge them to maintain your speed.

Secondly, when you are near the finish line, there are going to be some goats near the bridge. Avoid them as well.

Some tips to win horse races in The Witcher 3

Whenever you are about to start a horse race, bet on yourself by sliding the slider all the way to the maximum. The more gold you bet on yourself, the more payout in the end.

When it comes to actually racing, always stay in the center of the road. Going off-track will reduce your speed. Also, make sure to block any opponents coming behind you, especially near corners.

Note that Roach has limited stamina. You cannot keep pushing her all the way from start to finish. You will need to slow down to let her catch his breath. The best way is to do this at corners where you need to slow down anyway.

Some races have shortcuts where you can cut paths. You definitely need to take advantage of them.

Saqib Mansoor has halted regime changes, curbed demonic invasions, and averted at least one cosmic omnicide; all from the confines of his gaming chair. When he is not whipping his writers into a frenzy, he ...