The Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris event comprises two consecutive days of top-class sport, including some of the best jumps races in France.
Over a week-end, Auteuil racecourse hosts 10 hurdles races and 6 steeplechase races, including the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris, which lends its name to this weekend of thrilling horseracing action!
The Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris is a highly spectacular race, and one of the year’s most important sporting events.
The world’s most talented thoroughbreds coupled with highly experienced jockeys launch themselves onto the 3-mile 6-furlong course, the longest steeplechase course at Auteuil, which is dotted with 23 obstacles of various sizes and difficulties.
After 7 minutes of exertion comes the compensation! The race offers 850,000 euros in prize money, making it the most richly-rewarded jumps race in France.
Winning the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris is a true exploit, a dream come true for all jump jockeys, owners and trainers. It is the culmination of their whole career, a huge triumph!
THE GRAND STEEPLE-CHASE DE PARIS IS:
THE MOST DAUNTING OBSTACLES:
Rail Ditch and Fence
An obstacle of awe-inspiring proportions, which proves critical for victory!
This is the most daunting obstacle on the course, thanks to its massive proportions.
The horses must jump 5 metres across and 1.70m high to clear this combination, which is made up of a high rail, a deep ditch and a tall hedge.
Jumped at the end of the course, it is also known as the “Juge de Paix” as it is often a critical obstacle for victory.
Rivière des Tribunes
A massive 8-metre jump, tackled twice!
Located just in front of the grandstand, this obstacle is made up of a hedge hiding a water jump, and requires the horses to jump 8 metres across! The Rivière des Tribunes features twice in the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris course!
Hurdles races include a minimum of 7 obstacles to jump. These 7 “hurdles” are identical and are 1.10m high.
In this discipline, various different obstacles (walls, water jumps, etc.) are dotted along the course. Steeplechase obstacles are higher and more challenging than hurdles.
Steeplechase jumps vary from one race to another, and also from one racecourse to another.
TO SUM UP
7 minutes of intense effort for the horses and their jockeys
3 miles 6 furlongs long, one of the year’s longest steeplechase races
23 obstacles to jump, requiring a finely-tuned technique
A maximum of 20 horses at the start, coupled with highly experienced jockeys
Only 1 winner, who enters Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris legend!
THE CROWNING OF THE BEST STEEPLECHASER SINCE 1874
1977 - CORPS A CORPS- ©APRH
Originally called the Grand National d'Auteuil, the mission of this race was to become as prestigious as the British Grand National, held in Liverpool.
Its distance, having slightly varied over the centuries, is now set at 3 miles and 6 furlongs and requires exceptional stamina from the four-hoofed athletes.
1966 - HYERES III- ©APRH
RARELY REPEATED EXPLOITS
1920 - COQ GAULOIS- ©APRH
Among the thousands of horses to have competed in over 139 editions of the event, only a handful have been able to win the race more than once.
Only 9 thoroughbreds have won the race twice:
- Wild Monarch (1878–1879)
- Dandolo (1904-1908)
- Ingré (1937-1939)
- Lindor (1946-1947)
- Huron (1969-1970)
- Ucello II (1993-1994)
- Kotkijet (2001-2004)
- Princesse d'Anjou (2006-2008)
- So French (2016 - 2017)
Over the years, three racing legends have been unveiled at Auteuil, a trio of illustrious mounts who managed to win the world’s most selective jumps race on three separate occasions!
The mare Hyères III, who won from 1964 to 1966, was the first. Katko (1988 to 1990) and, more recently, Mid Dancer (2007, 2011 and 2012) proved that this feat is still possible.
1964 - HYERES III - ©APRH