Peter Stevens has some advice for you if you are considering a busmans holiday in the country with the ‘best jump racing in the world’, here are some hints:
Racing Calendar: http://www9.france-galop.com/fgweb/fgdefault.aspx (click on “races” – and if you go to the home page you will see a little flag with a link to pages in English).
Racing is dominated by meetings on Sundays, so plan your trip when there are some midweek fixtures as well. For instance, as 15 August is a holiday, you could go flat racing at Clairefontaine on the 14th, jump, flat and trotting at Granville on the 15th and trotting and jumping at Le Pertre (highly recommended – www.lepertre.com) on the 17th. Rochefort-sur-Loire on the 18th, buy some wine there and on y va…
There is always good jumping in north west France every Sunday, but here are some highlights:
27 July – Molieres. Just like a point-to-point but several natural jumps in field boundaries and less white rails.
10 August – Josselin. One day a year in a lovely chateau town.
17 August – Le Pertre (as above). The biggest of the three days with a stage in the French Cross country championships and pony races.
24 August – Mauron. A one day meeting just like a village point-to-point but more laid back.
30/31 August – Beaupreau. Huge crowds near the chateau. If you love Cartmel…
7 September – Ploermel. Even more like Cartmel and one of my favourites. Also on 21 September.
13/14 September – Chateau-Gontier. Just like a private meeting of the 19th century with Madame la Presidente living in the chateau next door.
20/21/21 September. Craon. The big meeting. Balthazar King again?
12/13 October. The highlight of the year with racing in my village, Nuille Sur Vicoin.
12/19 October. Le Pin au Haras. Possibly my favourite. An historic racecourse with listed stands and the feel of racing as it was in the 19th century. www.haras-national-du-pin.com/en/des-animations-exceptionnelles/a-day-at-the-races.html.