“One of the wonders of the world – a horse at full gallop. In sight, for free – just come and visit Wrocław Racecourse. Here, like a thousand years ago, horses compete to see which is faster, fulfilling the dreams of their owners, breeders and trainers. The winning post tells the truth. The most successful rider-horse partnerships are those achieving the highest degree of symbiosis. Horse racing is the most difficult riding discipline. With speeds of over 60 kmph every human error is ruthlessly punished. Hats off to jockeys who have a record of hundreds of races won. And horses competing splendidly. Bet on them. They will repay you by taking you on an incredible emotional roller coaster.” - Jerzy Sawka Wrocław Racecourse Executive Director
At Wrocław Racecourse there are steeple chase races, hurdle and flat races for Thoroughbreds, flat races for Arab horses and flat races for French Trotters. Wroclaw Racecourse is home of the Wielka Wroclawska Steeplechase, the Wielka Partynicka Hurdle and the Oaks (2014 and 2015).
By replacing half-breds with Thoroughbreds in 2013, Wrocław Racecourse opened to Europe. The Czechs race their horses at our racecourse on a regular basis. Also the Germans, Swiss, French, Italians, Swedes, Turks, Persians, Indians, Americans, British and Irish visit us. Wrocław is a member of Euro Equus – an elite union of horse cities including also Jerez de la Frontera, Spain’s capital of Andalusians; Golega, Portugal’s capital of the Lusitano; Belgium’s Waregem, the organiser of a horse race with the almost 170 years old tradition; and Pardubice in the Czech Republic. In 2016 the first running of the Crystal Cup took place at Wroclaw Racecourse as one of the steeplechase series staged at Europe’s twelve renowned jump racecourses (for more information please visit www.crystalcup.org) . Together with Bratislava, Budapest and Pardubice we have established the Visegrad Group Cup. We are part of Europe’s racing and equestrian world.
THE THOROUGHBRED HORSE RACING
The thoroughbred horse is a phenomenon of its species. The only breed that, crossbred with other breeds, improves their quality. The thoroughbred is energetic, harmonious and beautiful. The main criterion for the selection of this breed are races. Man has strengthened a natural feature of speed by breeding fast pairs of horses. A fast horse has a greater chance of surviving because it can outrun a predator. Thoroughbreds were developed over three hundred years ago in the British Isles. Their progenitors where three oriental stallions crossbred with local mares with racing talent. Today Thoroughbreds are dominant at all racecourses around the world. The best individuals are not for sale. They continue their breeding careers earning millions of dollars per year.
Outstanding racehorses in the world have their monuments. Their names are pronounced with adoration due to heroes: Secretariat, Northern Dancer, Galileo. Poland also has its own equine heroes. Our first famous Thoroughbred was Ruler owned by Count Ludwik Krasiński. Ruler beat regularly horses owned by rich Russian aristocrats. During the communist era Pawiment from Iwno had an astonishing career. He won the Preis von Europa in Cologne. He was indestructible, with 14 starts in one season on three continents: Europe, North and South Americas. He is the only Polish horse that ran in the most prestigious race in the world – the French Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. He finished ninth in the field of 22 horses. The retired Tiumen grazes on Czech pastures (see the picture). This horse, bred in Moszna, won the Velka Pardubicka, the most difficult steeplechase in the world, three times in a row. In 140 years only six horses have achieved this feat.
In the West, jockeys are as famous as football players and actors. Irish steeplechase rider Tony McCoy won 4357 races. This is an all-time record. McCoy is well known to all horse racing enthusiasts around the world. Our Mieczysław Mełnicki, the star of the communist era, won more than 1700 flat races. He was a hero of Polish and German racecourses. He used to win on horses ruled out even by their trainers. Mełnicki made his debut in Wrocław, than he continued his career at Warsaw’s Służewiec. The same route was followed by Szczepan Mazur, a boy from Księginice near Wrocław, today the most talented Polish jockey. Szczepan competes successfully in the United Arab Emirates. In order to ride racehorses, courage and a dose of madness is required. Jockeys are like racing car drivers.
For the first time ever we have the occupation of rider in the Polish education system. This is the result of efforts made by Wrocław Racecourse in cooperation with the Polish Equestrian Federation. In order to train in this profession, a vocational school is being set up in Krzyżowice near Wrocław. Thus we are joining France, Germany, the UK, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the USA and South Africa, i.e. equestrian and racing powers which have been teaching the art of horse riding to young people for many years.
HORSE RACING OWNERS
There would be no horse racing if not for the people who have stables and send their horses to racecourses. They are the salt of the racing earth. Passion and risk are their element. Horses must sense it and that is why they try to win for them with all their might. At Wrocław Racecourse horses are owned by artists and business people. Actor Bogusław Linda has Brego; Marek Siudym, also an actor, has Tasmania; singer Anna Jurksztowicz and composer Krzesimir Dębski have Normana; Tomasz Misiak of Workservice has Mankind; Krystyna Łukasiewicz of Look Finansowanie Inwestycji has Sang Jang; Tadeusz Sieradzki of Motorpol has Zryw, Zew and Zarra. They seem to be lucky with horses as each of their Thoroughbreds has won a couple of races.