Horse Racing in Czech Republic
Not many people are aware of the fact that the Czech Republic has had a long and distinguished history of horse racing, and that horse racing and various other equine disciplines are enjoyed throughout the country. The Czech Republic is also known for its high standards in breeding, in particular Kladruby horses. Even though they have not celebrated abundant international horse racing success, the racing industry remains well supported in flat horse racing and steeple chase racing events. In the Czech Republic, the city of Pardubice is seen as the horse racing hub and is also home to one of the most dangerous steeple chase racing events in Europe
The first Velka Pardubice Steeplechase was held on 5 November 1874 and has been hosted annually since its inauguration. Is it known in the horse racing industry as one of the most difficult and life threatening racing events and only one horse has ever been victorious at this event, four times. Not only did Zeleznik find multiple success here, but was also able to complete the massive six thousand nine hundred meter steeple chase course in less than ten minutes. Another horse that is legendary in the racing circles of the Czech Republic is Darsalam. Viewed as the best race horse of the century in the Czech Republic, Darsalam is a top Grade 1 champion, an ambassador for the sport. The Velka Pardubice Steeplechase usually takes place in October, with smaller Pardubice Cross Country racing events enriching the steeple chase racing season.
Also a major horse racing city, Prague is host to more flat horse racing events. Velke Chuchle is the venue for many racing events, organized by the Prague Turf Club. Each year approximately twenty flat horse racing meetings take place at the Velke Chuchle, including the Czech Derby, the President’s Prize, the Prague Grand Prix, the St. Leger and the 2000 Guineas. The Velke Chuchle racecourse is 2 180 meters in length and is therefore the host of mostly flat horse racing events. Smaller tracks do exist, such as the Karlovy Vary racecourse that was constructed in 1899, but Prague and Pardubice remain the two major cities for horse racing. The age old tradition of horse racing has remained in the Czech Republic, as has the love for horse riding and the numerous other horse riding facilities that flourish throughout the country.