Auteuil Hippodrome is a horse racing facility, located at Route des Lacs on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, Paris. The racecourse is the hub of jump racing in France and is designed exclusively for hurdle and steeplechase races. It is home to nine Group 1 races in France in the same category.
Every year from spring till autumn in early December, the strongest French jump horses come to prove their mettle at the Auteuil Hippodrome.
Horse racing enthusiasts from all of France come to the hippodrome in November, particularly from the primary breeding areas of the central-east and west regions of the country, to witness and partake in the celebrations that are a part of the International Jump Weekend held every year.
Another notable event that garners the same level of attention and enthusiasm is the Grand Steeple Chase de Paris in June. Here is a brief insight into the history and facilities of the Auteuil Hippodrome.
Auteuil Hippodrome history
Auteuil Hippodrome was inaugurated on 1st November 1873. The racecourse was the venue for the equestrian events of the Olympics held in 1924. The racecourse was even open during the liberation of Paris.
Ernest Hemingway, the renowned American writer who lived in Paris from 1921 to 1926, frequently visited Auteuil Hippodrome. He called the racecourse his demanding friend as he deemed that it required extensive study before he could leverage it for profits.
In addition to steeplechase race events, Auteuil Hippodrome is also used for Fête de la Musique, the annual city-wide music fiesta held in Paris.
Over the years, the racecourse has undergone various renovation projects. In 1971, two pedestrian passageways were added under the race tracks to improve access to the facility. These lead to the metro stations Porte d’Auteuil and the Porte de Passy.
Auteuil Hippodrome facilities
Auteuil Hippodrome is spread out over an area of 82 acres. It is operated by the France Galop, the central body that administers flat and steeplechase horse racing in the country.
The racecourse features a variety of tracks and jumps that are unparalleled in the rest of Europe. In addition to the grandstand facility, the racecourse has three grass viewing lawns. These grassy lawn areas are open to the public inside the loops of the racecourse’s tracks that are in the shape of eight and are crisscrossed by the various tracks. These three tracks were called Congo, Tonkin, and Madagascar during the colonial period. The racecourse lawns also have a small pond in the middle.
The venue also features a sports course with different equipment for exercise and playing fields for soccer and hockey. It also features two basketball courts. There are various food and beverage outlets on the course. The racecourse features automated tote machines with English options to facilitate the bettors.
If you look at old pictures of Auteuil Hippodrome, you will see a festive atmosphere, where people are standing or sitting alongside the stream banks that feed the two water jumps. These obstacles have been fashioned out of a pond and a hedge and are among the most prominent features of the Auteuil Racecourse, due to which it stands out from the rest of its counterparts.
The excitement of the jump racing events is a huge crowd puller and has made the Auteuil hippodrome very popular. The best French jump horses come from all over to participate in the various events held at the hippodrome to prove their mettle and showcase their breeding quality. Many of these horses are also exported to the British Isles.
Major Racing events held at Auteuil Hippodrome
Auteuil Hippodrome draws racing fans from all over the country to witness and participate in various racing events. It is home to some of the most prestigious steeplechase racing events in the country, including the Group 3 Prix du Président de la République in April, the Group 1 Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris is held at the end of May, the Grande Course de Haies in June and the Prix La Haye Jousselin, held in November.
How to get to Auteuil Hippodrome
If you want to get to Auteuil Hippodrome by metro, you can take the metro on the Station Porte d’Auteuil Racecourse (Line 10) to Station Porte d’Auteuil-Hippodrome. You can also go by bus to the Porte d’Auteuil every day.
What is the entrance fee to Auteuil Hippodrome?
A two-day ticket to the Auteuil Hippodrome costs around €19.