Every Friday is race day at the Erbil International Equestrian Club, and interest is growing as the sport gains popularity in areas controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq.

At the Erbil International Equestrian Club, races are held every Friday.
At the Erbil International Equestrian Club, races are held every Friday. (AP)

Horse racing has arrived in the northern Kurdish region of Iraq and it is gaining in popularity.

The Erbil International Equestrian Club is outside the city. It's owned by Sirwan Barzani, the nephew of Kurdish Regional Government leader Masoud Barzani, and every Friday is now race day.

Many of the horses are owned by local businessmen. Betting on them has not yet started, but it's the plan.

The track opened late last year. Originally something of a novelty, more and more people are now showing an interest according to Daniel Smith, the American announcer who calls the races.

TRT World's Mhairi Beveridge has the story.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies