Steeplechase: Velká Pardubická 2020

I wasn’t good at reporting Famous Races this year, so at least this one! Velká Pardubická in Czech Republic was just last week. This race is very similar to The Grand National (which was cancelled this year). Both races are nearly 7 km long, and both have around 30 obstacles; and one that is especially deadly - Becher’s Brook in the Grand National and Taxis Ditch in Velká Pardubická.

Four previous winners were entered this year: three French horses, that won the race in the past - Theophilos (15), the 2019 winner, Tzigane du Berlais (17), the 2018 winner, and Ribelino (12), the 2015 winner. There was also British horse No Time To Lose (16), the 2017 winner. Unfortunately, No Time To Lose and another horse fell on Taxis Ditch.

This year’s winner was a Czech horse Hegnus (3), ridden by Slovak jockey Lukáš Matuský. Hegnus was trained by Radek Holčák, so the most famous jockey and trainer Josef Váňa sr. didn’t win this time.

They started at third attempt, because the judge insisted that they all enter the gate at walk:

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Man, that ditch is brutal! I hope those horses are okay, one of them just fell flat and then didn’t move. :grimacing:

Very cool to watch though, thanks for sharing!

I was curious after watching the film and Sottovento didn’t survive that fall unfortunately. Landed his head and broke his neck :cry: I think the other horse was fine though. Strangely both were from the same trainer (from what I gathered thanks to Google Translate).

Yeah, I did a google search. Very sad.

I have always had a mild fascination for this race, ever since it was won by English trained Stephen’s Society in the 70’s (aging myself much?!?!), ridden by his Amateur Jockey/Owner, Chris Collins.

Thanks, Hilda. I always look forward to your reports on Famous Races, especially this race. Pity the commentary isn’t in English, because my Czech is pretty poor (actually, it’s non-existent).

So both horses that fell on Taxis Ditch were trained by Josef Váňa. And the rider that fell after next obstacle was the only female jockey there. Her horse’s odds were 600:1 and later 300:1.