SATURDAYS AT AUTEUIL: A FUN AND FRIENDLY DAY OUT
Enjoy a brand-new racing experience every Saturday from 7th May to 18th June at Auteuil racecourse, from 3.30pm onwards (starting at 12 noon on 21st May).
SATURDAYS AT AUTEUIL are wonderful opportunities to enjoy a day out with your friends or family. Immerse yourself in the racecourse’s vintage atmosphere and experience the thrill of jumps racing from up close.
Treat your loved ones to a unique afternoon in the great outdoors, from 3pm until late in the evening, with plenty to keep you occupied: food garden, free entertainment, horse races, music, and more.
Have fun and chill out at our fantastic open-air events every Saturday!
SEVEN GOOD REASONS TO COME TO AUTEUIL ON SATURDAYS
1. Discover Auteuil, a unique venue and wide open spaces
Auteuil Racecourse is a historic place and a vast haven of tranquillity in Paris’ 16th arrondissement, a world away from the hustle and bustle of the French capital and its choking traffic.
The venue opened its doors nearly 160 years ago and its racetrack and large public areas together cover an area of 33 hectares.
There’s plenty of space for everyone, both alongside the racetrack as the horses come home and in the comfortably furnished spectator areas, and there’s lot of room for children to run around in and have fun too.
2. Something for everyone
Tired of Paris’ terraces? Then come and have a fun day out with family and friends thanks to Saturdays at Auteuil. Aside from the racing, there’s lot to do and enjoy: Finnish skittles, derby races, pétanque, photo booths, live concerts, food trucks and bars.
Want to kick back with a drink while the kids have fun? Saturdays at Auteuil is the perfect way to enjoy a chilled-out afternoon or evening with your friends AND your little ones. You don’t need a nanny to keep an eye on them either. Auteuil is a completely safe space where parents can have a drink with friends while their children try their hand at table football, pony riding, table tennis and much more besides.
3. Food, glorious food
Saturdays at Auteuil means grabbing a bite to eat in the afternoon and having a nice cool drink as you enjoy the racing and all the entertainment on offer.
Make an evening of it and sip on an aperitif or two trackside and have dinner under the lights to the sound of live music. On the menu is pizza, seafood, focaccia bread, burgers, ice cream and much, much more. There’s so much for you to savour as part of a culinary programme that changes throughout the season to cater for all tastes.
There are a whole host of menus to choose from, with several designed with little ones in mind.
And if you don’t fancy queuing at the food trucks you can always go click and collect.
4. Make a night of it with live music
When the racing’s over, you can let your hair down and dance the night away under the stars and lights. Our outdoor stage hosts concerts all evening long, with a final DJ set running from 23:30 to 01:00.
5. Eco-friendly events
Come to Saturdays at Auteuil and you’ll find a lot of eco-friendly furniture dotted around the racecourse. Designed using second-hand furniture and recycled pallets, our tables and chairs are largely made from wood and provide you with a comfortable vantage point from which to soak up the race-day atmosphere, all under our garlands of lights.
Not to be outdone, the course’s caterers will also be showing their commitment to the planet by serving quality eco-friendly food.
6. A great day out and free activities
Saturdays at Auteuil are a day out for everyone. Available from the France Galop ticket site, tickets cost only €5 for adults, while admission is free for under 12s and there’s a reduced rate for 12- to 18-year-olds.
All the events and activities on offer at the racecourse are free. Ranging from wooden games such as Finnish skittles to pétanque, table football and table tennis, there’s plenty for everyone to do.
Children are in for a special treat too, with pony rides also laid on.
7. Discover the wonderful sport of horse racing, right in the heart of Paris
Auteuil Racecourse has a spectacular programme of races waiting for you to discover. Ridden by the best jockeys in the business and specially trained to clear fences, the jumpers are a sight to behold as they negotiate the track’s many obstacles.
Known in France and around the world as the Temple of Jump Racing, the racecourse is the venue for the legendary Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris. Taking place on Sunday 22 May, it is the most spectacular race of the year.
There are eight races on each card and a chance to get up close to the horses, both at the parade ring before and after races and down at the finish line, where you’ll feel all the excitement of the sport.
And if you want to get right to the heart of the jumps experience, you can take a guided tour of Auteuil Racecourse’s most imposing and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. It’ll give you a whole new way of seeing horse racing. As part of your tour (tickets cost €12 per head and must be purchased beforehand at the France Galop ticket site), a guide will take you round the racetrack’s legendary fences (chief among them the Rivière des Tribunes and the Rail Ditch and Fence), which have made the Temple of Jump Racing what it is today. There’s nothing quite like seeing them close up to appreciate the wonders that the horses and their jockeys perform in clearing them.
So horse racing’s not for you, you say? You’ll be changing your mind after this experience.
THE SPECTACLE OF HORSE RACING
DID YOU KNOW? Auteuil Racecourse is known the world over
The home of the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris, Auteuil Racecourse boasts some spectacular obstacles that have made it world famous.
The racetrack is a true test of a horse’s abilities, with only the very best crossing the line first. As well as negotiating obstacles of varying sizes – some of them truly formidable – horses must maintain a high average speed between jumps and keep enough energy in the tank for the final sprint to the post.
Auteuil Racecourse hosts two types of horse racing:
Hurdle races have a minimum of seven identical hurdles each measuring 1.10 metres high.
Steeplechase fences are higher and harder to jump than hurdles and include a range of obstacles, such as plain fences, water jumps and open ditches. The Auteuil track is highly technical and is famed for the difficulty of some of its obstacles, among them the Rail Ditch and Fence and La Rivière des Tribunes.
The Temple of Jump Racing’s legendary fences:
- The Rail Ditch and Fence: A record-breaking jump that decides many a race
Quite simply the toughest obstacle on the racetrack, owing to its huge size, with horses required to leap fully five metres and 1.70 metres off the ground to clear a fence made up of a big rail, a large ditch and a tall and densely packed fence.
Lying as it does at the end of the course, it is also known as the Juge de Paix (“Justice of the Peace”) as it decides many a race.
- La Rivière des Tribunes: A mighty obstacle
Located in front of the stands, La Rivière is a water jump that takes a huge leap of eight metres to clear.
SAVE THE DATES: Saturdays at Auteuil = great racing!
The racecourse’s jump-racing programme covers seven consecutive Saturdays, from 8 May to 19 June, with two dates standing out in particular.
- Saturday 21 May: Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil
NB: doors open early, at 11:00, on both Saturday and Sunday.
The highlight of day one of the biggest weekend of jump racing at Auteuil is the Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil, one of the leading races on the racing calendar. Open to five-year-olds and over, this Group 1 race – the highest level of racing there is – is run over 5,100 metres and offers a true test of their abilities on a legendary hurdles course.
Another highlight of that particular Saturday is the Prix Sagan, a Group 3 race for three-year-old fillies, the age at which horses generally start jump racing. An eagerly awaited event, it reveals many a future champion.
This is merely day one of a superb weekend of racing, one that reaches its high point with Sunday’s Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris and showcases everything that jump racing has to offer, to the delight of fans of hurdles and steeplechase races.
- Saturday 11 June: five Group 1 races, the highest level in the sport.
After the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris weekend, there are three more high-class events to enjoy:
- Racing TV Prix Questarabad (Group 3): a consolation race for the Grande Course de Haies de Printemps, for four-year-olds.
- Prix La Barka (Group 2): a consolation race for the Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil, for five-year-olds and over.
- Prix des Drags (Group 2): an event regarded as a consolation race for the Grande Steeple-Chase de Paris, for five-year-olds and over. The race takes its name from the harnessed carriages that once took the models of Paris’ major fashion houses to Auteuil for a day’s racing.