Pau Racecourse – France

Pau is the capital of the Bearn department in the Aquitaine region. This extremely picturesque old royal city, that is set between the back drop of the Pyrenees mountains and the ocean, is at the extreme southwest tip of France.

The racecourse is well known for its annual winter meeting, when it holds both jump and all-weather flat racing from December to February. Every year at the end of the Auteuil season, several of the leading National Hunt trainers make the journey down to Pau with a string of horses to compete here.

A total of 154 jump races and 62 flat races are held over this period. Right-handed, Pau racecourse is spread over 40 hectares, and has 110 boxes, a jumps and hurdles course, a cross-country track and Polytrack. It is also home to a famous training centre, second only to Chantilly, where just one resident is Champion Flat trainer Jean-Claude Rouget.

Number of meetings: 27

Biggest events: G3 Grand Prix de Pau Chase, Grande Course de Haies de Pau Hurdle.

History: The Bearnais (as residents of the Béarn region are known) have always been passionate about the equine species, and were keen horse breeders through time. The now well-known National Stud was created in 1807, before a society was established in 1839 in view to further developing the breeding programmes and organising racing.

Just three years later, the city of Pau granted the lands of Pont-Long to the society in order to hold races, where they have been taking place ever since. The site has consistently undergone development down the years, leading to it becoming one of France’s most popular racecourses.

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