Loko Trans v Dostihový spolek, Part 3 The Ministry’s patronage is not only for the Velka Pardubicka
Dostihový spolek press release, 02.08.2019
Ministerial patronage has been offered not only for the Velka Pardubicka, but also for the sport of horseracing
The Czech Ministry of Agriculture supports horseracing in Pardubice. The Town of Pardubice will be the recipient of support aimed at guaranteeing horseracing at Pardubice racecourse and, by extension, at guaranteeing the Velka Pardubicka. The oldest and toughest horse race in continental Europe thus takes its place among the major sporting and cultural events that are supported by the Czech state – alongside the Karlovy Vary Film Festival and the motorcycle Grand Prix meeting in Brno.
The Town of Pardubice is to receive financial support in the amount of CZK 5 000 000 (almost EUR 200 000), in the form of patronage from the Ministry of Agriculture. The money is for guaranteeing the organization of the qualification races and the Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase.
“The legendary race is a tradition through which Pardubice and also the Czech Republic are known abroad. It is good that the state has turned its face towards horseracing and is providing financial support for the sport. It takes the form of patronage that will result in support not only for the Velka Pardubicka but also for all the qualification races and finally for the other race meetings without which there would not be a Velka Pardubicka. It is support for horseracing, and thus for breeding racehorses, which will have somewhere to run and race, thanks to this support”, says Petr Kvaš, deputy mayor of Pardubice and vice-chairman of the board of Dostihový spolek, adding that the patronage of the ministry is no substitute for a general partner. It is an extra source of funding to ensure a high-quality programme for the event.
The Velka Pardubicka Steeplechase has a tradition going back 145 years. The race was first run in November 1874. In recent years, there have been nine race days each year at Pardubice, and the four qualification races have led up to the Velka Pardubicka. The legendary race itself forms a part of the Crystal Cup series of crosscountry chases.
“When Czech people hear the name of Pardubice, they straightaway think of horses, gingerbread, ice hockey, the Gold Helmet speedway event, and semtex. None of the others has such a long tradition as the horse race, with the possible exception of Pardubice gingerbread. That’s why it saddens me when people, including even some people from Pardubice, express the view that the Velka Pardubicka should be closed down. With the greatest respect for the work and the sacrifice or our forefathers, we do not want to allow any such considerations. That is why we have been searching for support for horseracing at all levels – at the level of the state, the region and private sponsors,” Petr Kvaš added.
The Town of Pardubice and Dostihový spolek also carried out negotiations on new collaboration at the level of a strategic partner for the Velka Pardubicka. As has been reported in the media, we had dealings with Loko Trans. However, this did not lead to an agreement, as none of the offers was advantageous for both sides. Negotiations also took place with other partners, and they have turned out successfully.
translated by Robin.