EJC day is on Saturday. There are nine races on the card. The first two races, at 1 pm and at 1.30 are outside the EJC competition, though some of the riders in the EJC competition have been engaged to ride in these races. Races 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are EJC races. Each of the 12 riders in the competition will ride in at least 5 of the 6 competition races, and will be awarded points according to his finishing position in his five best races. The final race in the afternoon will be the celebrities race. Josef Vána senior will ride in this race.
An unfamiliar but welcome sight in August 2019 has been the colour of green grass. In recent years, our racecourses have been yellow or brown from quite early in July until mid-September, and this year, too, the grass was looking stressed by the end of July. Nevertheless, the better equipped Czech racecourses had made an effort to keep the racetrack itself watered. Since the beginning of the racing season here, the going has been mainly good, or good to firm.
The three main events in central European steeplechasing, marking the highpoint of our 2019 season, all take place within a five-week period between September 8th and October 13th. Each of the three meetings, at Wroclaw in Poland, at Merano, in the northernmost part of Italy, and at Pardubice, 100 km east of Prague in the Czech Republic, celebrates the varieties of crosscountry steeplechasing in the central European region.
In these monthly newsletters, I usually mention or discuss the recent weather, and the weather in July 2019 cannot pass unmentioned. All over northern Europe there was extraordinarily hot weather towards the end of the month, peaking on Thursday, July 25th, with all-time record temperatures recorded in the UK and northern France. North of the Alps in central Europe, too, it was very hot.