Velká pardubická

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Velká pardubická is a famous cross-country steeplechase run in Pardubice, Czech Republic since 1874. It takes place every year on the second Sunday in October.

The length of the steeplechase is 6.9 km (4 miles 506 yards), with 31 obstacles. It usually takes 9–10 minutes to finish the course; the record is 8:56.01 set by Ribelino in 2015.

Horses starting in the race must be at least six years old (prior to 2009, the minimum age was seven years); Czech horses must qualify by finishing at least one of four qualifying races during the season.

History[edit]

The race was first run in 1874 in Pardubice, a town long known in the horse racing world, as some trainers and jockeys from England came there to work. The current steeplechase course was established in 1856, however the course first took its present-day form in the years just after the Second World War.[1]

The course of the race has been changed several times, most recently in 1998 when the direction of the final phase of the race was changed to accommodate the new grandstand. The surface of the racecourse is mainly grass, but one-quarter of the race is run through ploughed fields, which used to take almost half of the race in the past. Some obstacles have also been changed, mostly to improve safety, although the difficulty of the race is said to have suffered as a result.[1]

Obstacles[edit]

Horses must negotiate a total of 31 obstacles.[2] These are:

  • 1 - Hedge (1.2m)
  • 2 - Hedge with ditch (1.3m, with a 60 cm ditch on the other side)
  • 3 - Small water jump (3m long)
  • 4 - Taxis ditch. This is the most famous obstacle in the race, and it is jumped just once. 28 horses have died at this obstacle. In the past it consisted of a 2 m deep and 5 m long ditch hidden behind a 1.5 m high hedge. Nowadays, it is a 1 m deep and 4 m long ditch with a 1.5 m high hedge. This obstacle is used only for the Velká pardubická, and horses are not permitted to use it for training.
  • 5 - Irish bank. This unusual obstacle requires the horses to shimmy up and down a steep artificial bank.
  • 6 - Popkovic ditch. (1.3m hedge with a 2m long ditch on the other side)
  • 7 - French jump. A pair of closely spaced hedges, 1.2m and 1.3m in height, which must be jumped as one.
  • 8 & 9 - Small gardens. A pair of hedges, 1.25m and 1.3m in height, which are jumped in quick succession.
  • 10 - English jump. (1.2m hedge with a ditch on the takeoff side)
  • 10a - Extended taxis ditch. (Small hedge, about 1.1m tall, which joins with the main taxis ditch)
  • 11 - Hedge with ditch. (1.3m, with a ditch on the landing side)

Curiosities[edit]

Historically, the most successful horse in the race was Železník. The horse won the race four times (from 1987 to 1989 and again in 1991).

Josef Váňa Sr. is the most successful jockey, having achieved eight victories, and he is also a very well known celebrity in the Czech Republic. There is a 2012 movie about him (Váňa, directed by Jakub Wagner). He has also trained 10 winners of the Velká Pardubická and six horses which have finished in second place.

The first (and only woman) to have won the race as of 2019 is Countess Lata Brandisová (1896-1981), who won in 1937 with her mare, Norma - seven lengths ahead of the professional jockey Willibald Schlagbaum in second place. Only 10 of the 15 runners finished. She was the first woman to enter the race in 1927 (falling five times and remounting to finish fifth). In later years she came in fourth, third and second on Norma.[3]

The 1937 Grand Pardubice was the last race held for nearly a decade. The 1938 race was called off following the Munich agreement and not run during World War II.

Winners[edit]

Year Winning Horse Age Handicap (kg) Jockey Trainer Owner Winning Time
2019 France Theophilos 9 70 Czech Republic Josef Bartoš Josef Váňa sr. Dostihový klub iSport-Váňa 9m 28.76s
2018 France Tzigane du Berlais 7 70 Czech Republic Jan Faltejsek Pavel Tůma Dr. Charvát 9m 05.56s
2017 United Kingdom No Time To Lose 8 70 Czech Republic Jan Kratochvíl Josef Váňa sr. DS Paragan 9m 39.98s
2016 Czech Republic Charme Look 9 70 Czech Republic Jan Faltejsek Martina Růžičková Orling 9m 42.86s
2015 France Ribelino 7 68 Czech Republic Pavel Kašný Stanislav Kovář Lokotrans 8m 56.01s
2014 France Orphee des Blins 12 66 Czech Republic Jan Faltejsek Grzegorz Wroblewski DS Pegas 9m 08.25s
2013 France Orphee des Blins 11 66 Czech Republic Jan Faltejsek Grzegorz Wroblewski DS Pegas 9m 33.22s
2012 France Orphee des Blins 10 66 Czech Republic Jan Faltejsek Grzegorz Wroblewski DS Pegas 9m 13.39s
2011 Poland Tiumen 10 68.5 Czech Republic Josef Váňa sr. Josef Váňa sr. Köi Dent 9m 15.29s
2010 Poland Tiumen 9 68 Czech Republic Josef Váňa sr. Josef Váňa sr. Köi Dent 9m 03.73s
2009 Poland Tiumen 8 68 Czech Republic Josef Váňa sr. Josef Váňa sr. Köi Dent 9m 19.56s
2008 France Sixteen[a] 8 66 Czech Republic Josef Bartoš Josef Váňa sr. Jaroslav Bouček Buc-Film 8m 58.99s
2007 France Sixteen 7 66 Czech Republic Dušan Andrés Josef Váňa sr. Jaroslav Bouček Buc-Film 9m 18.66s
2006 Germany Decent Fellow 11 67 Czech Republic Josef Bartoš Josef Váňa sr. Dr. Charvát 9m 20.60s
2005 United States Maskul 11 67 Germany Dirk Fuhrmann František Holčák Nýznerov 9m 11.25s
2004 Germany Registana 8 65 Germany Peter Gehm Čestmír Olehla Wrbna Racing 9m 15.48s
2003 Germany Registana 7 65 Germany Peter Gehm Čestmír Olehla Wrbna Racing 9m 30.14s
2002 United States Maskul 8 67 Germany Peter Gehm Radek Holčák Nýznerov 10m 22.07s
2001 Czech Republic Chalco 9 67 Germany Peter Gehm Josef Váňa sr. Viktor Komárek 10m 04.52s
2000 Czech Republic Peruán 12 67 Czech Republic Zdeněk Matysík Lenka Horáková DC Zámrsk MUDr. Bruna 9m 29.00s
1999 Czech Republic Peruán 11 67 Czech Republic Zdeněk Matysík Lenka Horáková DC Zámrsk MUDr. Bruna 9m 16.00s
1998 Czech Republic Peruán 10 67 Czech Republic Zdeněk Matysík Lenka Horáková DC Zámrsk MUDr. Bruna 10m 10.01s
1997 Czech Republic Vronsky 9 67 Czech Republic Josef Váňa sr. Josef Váňa sr. Viktor Komárek 10m 33.30s
1996 Czech Republic Cipísek 8 64.5 Czech Republic Vladislav Snitkovskij Josef Váňa sr. Stáj Luka 9m 35.10s
1995 Republic of Ireland It's a Snip 10 67 United Kingdom Charlie Mann Charlie Mann The Icy Fire Partnership 10m 03.43s
1994 Soviet Union Erudit 8 65.5 Czech Republic Vladislav Snitkovskij František Holčák Pěník Vlachovice 10m 06.07s
1993 Soviet Union Rigoletto 9 70.5 Czech Republic Libor Štencl František Holčák Valstav-Paschal 10m 29.0s
1992 Quirinus 10 Czechoslovakia Jaroslav Brečka 10m 09.1s
1991 Czechoslovakia Železník 13 Czechoslovakia Josef Váňa sr. Čestmír Olehla 10m 01.0s
1990 Libentína 7 Czechoslovakia K. Zajko František Holčák 9m 49.4s
1989 Czechoslovakia Železník 11 Czechoslovakia Josef Váňa sr. Čestmír Olehla 10m 16.3s
1988 Czechoslovakia Železník 10 Czechoslovakia Josef Váňa sr. Čestmír Olehla 10m 59.8s
1987 Czechoslovakia Železník 9 Czechoslovakia Josef Váňa sr. Čestmír Olehla 9m 56.13s
1986 Valencio 9 Czechoslovakia K. Zajko František Holčák 10m 39.4s
1985 Festival 11 Czechoslovakia P. Vozáb Václav Čermák 10m 36.4s
1984 Erot 9 Soviet Union N. Chludějev 10m 48.9s
1983 Sagar 8 Czechoslovakia P. Liebich Václav Čermák 10m 28.0s
1982 Sagar 7 Czechoslovakia P. Liebich Václav Čermák 10m 12.04s
1981 Sagar 6 Czechoslovakia P. Liebich Václav Čermák 12m 46,37s
1980 Simon Czechoslovakia V. Knápek
1979 Legenda Czechoslovakia J. Chaloupka
1978 Lancaster Czechoslovakia J. Kasal
1977 Václav Czechoslovakia Václav Chaloupka
1976 Limit Czechoslovakia F. Zobal
1975 Mor Czechoslovakia K. Benš
1974 Mor Czechoslovakia K. Benš
1973 Stephen's Society United Kingdom CH. Collins
1972 Korok Czechoslovakia V. Chaloupka
1971 Korok Czechoslovakia V. Chaloupka
1970 Vezna II Bulgaria N. G. Milev
1969 Korok Czechoslovakia V. Chaloupka
1968 cancelled[b]  
1967 Dresděn A.N. Sokolov
1966 Nestor T. Kňazík
1965 Mocná F. Vítek
1964 Priboj V. Z. Gorelkin Ivan Avdějev
1963 Koran F. Vítek
1962 Gaboj R. P. Makarov Ivan Avdějev
1961 Grifel I. L. Avdějev Ivan Avdějev
1960 Grifel I. L. Avdějev Ivan Avdějev
1959 Epigraf V. P. Prachov
1958 Epigraf V. P. Prachov
1957 Epigraf V. N. Fedin
1956 Letec J. Vavroušek
1955 Furioso XIV J. Čajda
1954 Unkas L. Raimond
1953 Junák F. Palýza
1952 Vítěz M. Svoboda
1951 Salvátor V. Hejmovský
1950 Var J. Jungman
1949 Učeň O. Dostál
1948 Var M. Kotek
1947 Rayon De M. Buret
1946 Titan M. Svoboda
1938–1945 cancelled[c]  
1937 Norma Czechoslovakia Lata Brandisová[3]
1936 Herold O. Lengnik
1935 Herold O. Lengnik
1934 Wahne H. Wiese
1933 Remus R. Spano
1932 Remus R. Spano
1931 Pohanka F. Durand
1930 Gyi Lovam! R. Popler
1929 Ben Hur G. Schwandt
1928 Vogler H. Schmidt
1927 Forum J. Charous
1926 All Right II R. Popler
1925 Landgraf II K. Holoubek
1924 Herero E. Stärz
1923 Landgraf II J. Pinter
1922 Baldur F. Gimpel
1921 Periwig J. Syrový
1920 Jonathan K. Kozlík
1914–1919 cancelled[d]  
1913[e] Hurain W. Reimer
Dick Turpin F. Janek
1912[e] Hurain W. Reimer
Jamagata F. Bartosch
1911 Glenmorgan E. Krieger
1910 Paul Heston M. Seiffert
1909 race void[f]  
1908 cancelled[g]  
1907 Kourgan J. Birghan
1906 Tigra H. H. Huxtable
1905 Scotch Moor M. Seiffert
1904 Dennis T. H. Buckenham
1903 Jour Fix U. Rosak
1902 Jour Fix U. Rosak
1901 Chorazy F. E. Slinn
1900 Magyarád T. H. Buckenham
1899 Slava T. H. Buckenham
1898 Handy Andy R. Jekyll
1897 Magyarád E. Geoghegan
1896 Lady Anne E. Geoghegan
1895 Galamb II A. Hall
1894 Lady Anne E. Geoghegan
1893 Hadnagy G. Williamson
1892 Alphabet J. Westlake
1891 Lady Anne R. Fletcher
1890 Alphabet G. Williamson
1889 Parisis R. Fletcher
1888 Et Caetera M. Phillips
1887 Woodman H. Baltazzi
1886 Hanno R. Fletcher
1885 Abracadabra H. Fries
1884 Jessica W. H. Moore
1883 Victoria H. Baltazzi
1882 Per Dampf T. Harraway
1881 Victoria H. Baltazzi
1880 Good Morning M. Phillips
1879 Rudi I. Hanreich
1878 Brigand F. Metternich
1877 Brigand F. Metternich
1876 cancelled[h]  
1875 Brigand G. Herbert
1874 Fantome G. Sayers
  1. ^ In 2008, Amant Gris finished first but was disqualified for taking the wrong course.
  2. ^ The 1968 race was cancelled due to the Prague Spring.
  3. ^ The race was not run in 1938–1945 due to Nazi occupation and the Second World War.
  4. ^ The race was not run in 1914–1919 due to the First World War.
  5. ^ a b The 1912 and 1913 race were dead heats.
  6. ^ The 1909 race was declared void as none of the three horses that ran finished.
  7. ^ The 1908 race was cancelled due to snow.
  8. ^ The 1876 race was cancelled due to frost.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.vpcp.cz/en/history.html History of the Velká Pardubická České pojišťovny
  2. ^ Obstacles
  3. ^ a b Richard Askwith (2019). Unbreakable: The Woman Who Defied the Nazis in the World's Most Dangerous Horse Race. Yellow Jersey Press.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°01′19″N 15°44′46″E / 50.0219°N 15.7460°E / 50.0219; 15.7460