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 6 years old (prior to 2009, the minimum age was 7 years); Czech horses must qualify by finishing at least one of four qualifying races during the season.


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]


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)


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 only woman to have won the race as of 2018 is Lata Brandis, who won in 1937 with a mare, Norma.


Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2018 Tzigane du Berlais Czech Republic Jan Faltejsek Pavel Tůma
2017 No Time To Lose Czech Republic Jan Kratochvíl Josef Váňa sr.
2016 Charme Look Czech Republic Jan Faltejsek Martina Růžičková
2015 Ribelino Czech Republic Pavel Kašný Stanislav Kovář
2014 Orphee des Blins Czech Republic Jan Faltejsek Grzegorz Wroblewski
2013 Orphee des Blins Czech Republic Jan Faltejsek Grzegorz Wroblewski
2012 Orphee des Blins Czech Republic Jan Faltejsek Grzegorz Wroblewski
2011 Tiumen Czech Republic Josef Váňa sr.
2010 Tiumen Czech Republic Josef Váňa sr.
2009 Tiumen Czech Republic Josef Váňa sr.
2008 Sixteen[a] Czech Republic J. Bartoš
2007 Sixteen Czech Republic D. Andrés
2006 Decent Fellow Czech Republic J. Bartoš
2005 Maskul Germany D. Fuhrmann
2004 Registana Germany P. Gehm
2003 Registana Germany P. Gehm
2002 Maskul Germany P. Gehm
2001 Chalco Germany P. Gehm
2000 Peruán Czech Republic Z. Matysík
1999 Peruán Czech Republic Z. Matysík
1998 Peruán Czech Republic Z. Matysík
1997 Vronsky Czech Republic J. Váňa sr.
1996 Cipísek Czech Republic V. Snitkovskij
1995 It's a Snip United Kingdom Ch. Mann
1994 Erudit Czech Republic V. Snitkovskij
1993 Rigoletto Czech Republic L. Štencl
1992 Quirinus Czechoslovakia J. Brečka
1991 Železník Czechoslovakia Josef Váňa sr.
1990 Libentína Czechoslovakia K. Zajko
1989 Železník Czechoslovakia Josef Váňa sr.
1988 Železník Czechoslovakia Josef Váňa sr.
1987 Železník Czechoslovakia Josef Váňa sr.
1986 Valencio Czechoslovakia K. Zajko
1985 Festival Czechoslovakia P. Vozáb
1984 Erot Soviet Union N. Chludějev
1983 Sagar Czechoslovakia P. Liebich
1982 Sagar Czechoslovakia P. Liebich
1981 Sagar Czechoslovakia P. Liebich
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
1963 Koran F. Vítek
1962 Gaboj R. P. Makarov
1961 Grifel I. L. Avdějev
1960 Grifel I. L. 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 L. v. Brandis
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 Hurain[e] W. Reimer
1913 Dick Turpin F. Janek
1912 Hurain[e] W. Reimer
1912 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.


  1. ^ a b History of the Velká Pardubická České pojišťovny
  2. ^ Obstacles

External links[edit]

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