Thoroughbred horse racing is a popular sport in the Czech Republic, with two major racecourses, Velká Chuchle Racecourse in Prague and Pardubice Racecourse. The season runs from May to October, with the highlight being the Velká Pardubice Steeplechase, which is held in October. This is the equivalent of the English Grand National, only thought by many to be much more difficult!
The Czech Republic has a long history of thoroughbred horse racing, dating back to the 19th century. The first racecourse in the country was built in Prague in 1866, and the first Velká Pardubice Steeplechase was held in 1874.
Thoroughbred horse racing is a major economic driver in the Czech Republic, with millions of euros in wagering each year. The sport also contributes to the tourism industry, with thousands of people visiting the country to watch the races.
Some of the most famous thoroughbred racehorses in the Czech Republic include Železník, Darsalam, and Nagano Gold. Železník won the Velká Pardubice Steeplechase four times, a record that has never been equaled. Darsalam was a champion on both the flat and over jumps, and Nagano Gold won the G2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2019.
Thoroughbred horse racing is a popular spectator sport in the Czech Republic, with crowds of up to 30,000 people attending the Velká Pardubice Steeplechase. The sport is also followed by a large television audience.
The future of thoroughbred horse racing in the Czech Republic is uncertain. The sport has been declining in popularity in recent years, and there are concerns about the sustainability of the industry. However, there are also signs of hope, with the emergence of new racecourses and the increasing popularity of horse racing among young people.