The 2019 steeplechasing season has got off to a slow start, as usual, and in the middle of May only three Category I races have been run. The Town of Lysá-nad-Labem First of May Steeplechase, 4 200 metres, at Lysá, was for the sixth successive year trained by Josef Váňa senior and ridden by Jan Kratochvíl (photo). Power Zar had won the September 2017 VP qualification race.
When the CPI Property Group took over the Prague Velká Chuchle racecourse area, it was announced that a wider range of equestrian events would be held at the racecourse. Above all, showjumping was to be reintroduced to the racecourse. The first showjumping event on the new arena at the racecourse will be held on May 3rd, 4th and 5th. The racecourse will be open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on each day, with events at different levels.
https://www.freewebs.com/becher123/formguidefor2018velkapa.htmChris Simpson has been writing about steeplechasing in continental Europe for at least twenty years on the Becher123 website. Although it is a few years since he last came to Pardubice, he is still remarkably well informed. Where his opinions differ from mine, he is probably rigth. However, when the two of us agree, it is quite possible that we are both wrong.
The last of the four Velka Pardubicka qualification races run at Pardubice racecourse produced a good-quality race. At last, there was a qualification race run on a cool afternoon and on good ground. The ploughed fields were a bit dusty, but we must again be grateful to the ground staff for their hard work on preparing the course.
There were ten runners, including two promising young horses, Buonarotti and Tzigane du Berlais, that had not yet qualified for the big race on October 14th.
The race meeting planned for Kolesa on Saturday 11 August has been cancelled because of the rock-hard ground. The organizers at Kolesa intend to discuss whether a replacement date can be found in the autumn, and will make an announcement in September. The organizers apologize to everyone who had taken an interest in the race meeting, and ask for their understanding.
In preparation for writing the August 2018 newsletter, I jotted down a few ideas on what I might write about. Then, I decided to reread my August newsletters for 2015 to 2017. I was quite disappointed to see that most of my ‘ideas’ mentioned in the first sentence here had, in fact, been discussed in some detail in the August newsletters in each of the last three years!