The city of horses and the venue of the Velka Pardubicka since 1874. Currently, only steeplechase races are held on the Pardubice track, a specialty being cross country races, where horses run not only on grass but also on the turf and often change direction during the race. The track hosts ten racedays a year, culminating in the second Sunday in October, the date of the Velka Pardubicka. For the qualifying races, 5,000 spectators head to the track, and for the Velka Pardubicka itself, attendance is at least four times as high, even higher in good weather. Besides the racedays, you can see the track and its most famous obstacle, the Great Taxis Ditch, which is jumped once a year, during excursions.
The racecourse is reached by public transport buses No. 8, 88, 15, 14, 24, 29. Ticket price is 16 CZK, 25 CZK if purchased from the driver. It takes five minutes to get to the main gate of the racetrack. Timetables can be found on the website of the Pardubice City Transport Company.
Approximately three minutes from the main gate of the racecourse you can use the train stop Pardubice, Závodiště.
The route from Prague along D11 and road 37 to Pardubice. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit to Pražská Street, then turn left to the destination Parking U Závodiště.
Route from Brno along D1 and road 602 towards Žďár n. Sázavou. Continue along road 37 to Pardubice. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit to Pražská Street, then turn left to the destination Parking U Závodiště.
During the races: parking areas are reserved for visitors on the access road (from the overpass) towards the racetrack. Parking fee is 100 CZK/day.
Parking in the racetrack area is reserved for holders of parking cards and grandstand tickets, members of the Racing Club and license holders of the Jockey Club of the Czech Republic.
Refreshments available on site: restaurants and fast food stands.
For all racing enthusiasts there is the possibility of a racetrack tour with expert historical interpretation. You will have a unique opportunity to learn all about the rich history of Velka Pardubicka and the entire racetrack. You can walk the entire route of the world-famous race with a stop at the most famous obstacles. The duration of the tour is about 60 minutes. The tours take place only on weekdays (Monday to Friday).
Children's Velka Pardubicka
Scaled down obstacles from the legendary Velka Pardubicka course. The Taxis Ditch, the Irish Bench, the Popler Jump or even the Gardens, all of these can be tried out by young and old visitors to horse racing meetings on the Children's Velka Pardubicka course. Obstacles can be jumped, crossed or even climbed over.
Where can I buy tickets?
Tickets are sold at the ticket office at the entrance to the venue on the raceday, sales start two hours before the start of the first race. Tickets can be purchased online at the online presale.
Do you have discounted ticket types?
Children up to 10 years and disabled card holders are free of charge. Youth under 18, students under 26 and persons 60 years and older pay a reduced admission fee. Family admission includes 2 adults and up to 3 children.
Are dogs allowed?
Dogs are allowed on a leash only and the owner must clean up any excrement.
Is there a dress code?
There is no prescribed dress code for general visitors. If formal dress is required, e.g. for the VIP lounge, this information is stated directly on the invitation or voucher.
What is the best time to arrive at the racecourse? When does the raceday start?
If you want to catch the first race in peace, it is ideal to plan your arrival 30 to 45 minutes before the start. The racetrack area, including the refreshment stands and restaurant, is open two hours before the start of the first race. The start times for the event and the start of the first race can always be found in the event details.
How long do the races last? How many races are run?
One race lasts on average one and a half minutes, a steeplechase around five to nine minutes. There are usually 8 races during a raceday with 30 minute breaks. The total duration of a raceday is around 3.5 hours.
The races are divided, among other things, according to performance categories, the main race (the highest category of a given raceday) is usually placed in the second part of the programme, but only exceptionally at the very end.
What can I expect during the raceday?
How can I watch the races? Do I need binoculars?
The best overview will be from the grandstand. Positions in the higher rows will give you a better view, while the lower rows, or the pavement in front of the grandstand, will give you closer contact with the horses in the homestraight. It is a good idea to take your chosen seat in the grandstand about 5 to 10 minutes before the scheduled start of the race. There are large screens in the racecourse and screens inside the grandstand with an internal video circuit. Our tip: if you want to watch the race like a proper "turfman", equip yourself with binoculars and you will have the racing action in the palm of your hand even from the height of the grandstand.
Where can I find out in advance which horses will run in the races?
All important information not only about the participants of the races, but also about the entire schedule of the raceday is contained in the Racing card, which you can buy right at the entrance to the racetrack. Start lists for the weekend races are closed on Tuesday of the week and can be found in advance on our website in the race details.
How and where can I place my bet?
Betting is an important part of horse racing and can be done directly at the racetrack at marked places. Bets are usually placed after you have seen the horses before the race in the paddock.
Is there a live streaming of all the races?
If you are not able to attend the raceday directly, you can watch the stream at iVysilani.cz or Czech TV.
Every racetrack has its own atmosphere. The Pardubice steeplechase, one of the toughest steeplechases on the European continent, has its own atmosphere.
In various publications it was previously stated that the Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase is the hardest steeplechase on the continent.In a certain sense it certainly is, in any case it is a race with a long tradition, whose history is more than interesting, a race that has its own specifics and charm, a race that is a highlight not only for Czech riders who dream, if not of victory, at least of participating in it. In any case, it is a social and sporting event with the longest tradition in our country. After all, when the football league started, Velká had already had around fifty editions.
The Velká pardubická was first run in 1874. But for several decades before that, races had been held in Pardubice and the surrounding areas. The whole racing world knew Pardubice from the beginning, as many trainers and jockeys from the cradle of turf, England, worked in Central Europe. The racecourse in the place where it is run today was founded in 1856. The racecourse has been in its present form since the early post-war years. It used to run as far as Popkovice and was also run behind the grandstands, in the area where the car park is now. After the end of the Second World War, a military airfield was set up here and some of the land was taken over by the army.
The course of the race has been changed several times throughout history, most recently in 1998, when for the first time the final stage of the race was run in the opposite direction on the main track. The relocation of the finish and the reversal of the running to the right hand side is closely related to the construction of the new grandstand. The main track is 2,200 metres in circumference, while the length of the Velka Pardubicka track is 6,900 metres. Horses have to overcome a total of 31 obstacles. The most famous is the Taxis Ditch, which is also one of the hardest jumps in the world. There are several other difficult obstacles in the course, which often determine the success or failure of individual starters. These include the Irish Bench, Popkovice Jump, French Jump, Snake Ditch, Great Water Ditch, Gardens, Great English Jump and Havel Jump. The surface of the course is mostly grass, some of it is over ploughs, but the proportion of these has declined considerably in some periods. In the first decades, the ploughs made up almost half the length of the race, later about a third and now about a quarter. Some fences have also been modified to improve the safety of horses and riders. Most recently, the water ditches have undergone the biggest change, where concrete tubs have been built on top of the original natural water course. Safety has increased but the difficulty of the race has suffered. A large moat used to be the deciding factor in many cases, but nowadays this obstacle is easily overcome and can be run over. The Great Taxis Ditch was also modified when the ditch was partially filled in, but its basic parameters have not changed. At least the unlucky ones don't fall as deep.