On the last Saturday in May, it gets crowded in the Merfelder Bruch near Dülmen. The spectators in the sold-out arena wait in suspense for the arrival of the wild horses. Once a year, the young stallions are separated from the herd and auctioned off. The yearlings are caught by hand by young men from the surrounding area. At the end of the day, the herd is let back into the Merfelder Bruch to great cheers from the visitors. The wild horse catch has been carried out since 1907. Without the separation of the young stallions, dangerous rank fights would break out in the herd over the mares. An increasing number of horses would also overtax the food supply and space of the Merfelder Bruch.
The next wild horse catch will take place on 27 May 2023. The Duke of Croÿ's administration has been organising the event for more than 100 years. Tickets are sold through their distribution partner CTS Eventim. Unfortunately, tickets for 2023 are already sold out.
But even if you don't have grandstand tickets, it's worth a trip to the wild horse track. On the day of the event itself, you have the opportunity to obtain admission tickets for the Wild Horse Track all day from 8.30 a.m. onwards. This way you can also experience the event outside the grandstand and marvel at the impressive drive-in of the wild horses at 15:00. Admission tickets on the day of the event cost €5.00 per person. Children aged 0-3 are admitted free of charge.
08:30 a.m.: Opening of the wild horse arena
approx. 12:30 p.m.: Opening of the grandstand ramps
approx. 1:45 p.m.: Show programme
approx. 3:00 p.m.: Entry of the wild horses
afterwards: catch of the yearling stallions
during the catch: raffle of yearling stallions, hints and conditions
afterwards: yearling stallions are offered for sale by auction
approx. 6:30 p.m.: end of the event