Compiègne Racecourse – France

Compiègne is a royal and imperial city that is located on the Oise river around 85km north east of Paris. It is famous for several reasons, not least for the historical events that it has been involved in. These include the signing of the Armistice with Germany to end the fighting of World War I in 1918 which took place nearby, as well as the capture of Joan of Arc during the Hundred Years’ War after which she was sold to the English.

The racecourse has recently become the second leading jumps track in France after Auteuil following the closure of Enghien. It holds flat racing, trotting, jump and cross-country racing from March to November. In total, this represents 173 races, of which 54 are over hurdles and chases, and 105 on the flat.

Number of meetings: 22

Biggest events: G3 Prix Romati Chase, G3 Prix Hopper Chase, Grand Prix de Compiegne (L)

History: Compiegne racecourse has developed a rich history since racing was first run under the racecourse society’s rules in 1898. Meetings had already begun however as far back as 1876. The area quickly became an important training centre in the 19th century, and it was here that Gladiateur, the first French horse to win the Epsom Derby in 1865, regularly exercised.

The racetrack is particularly picturesque with its Anglo-Normand style half-timbered stands and weighing room area that were built in 1932. In winter, the latter is also always heated by an open fire, further adding to the racecourse’s charm. The track is left-handed.