|Chantilly Racecourse is situated in
Chantilly, Oise, France; a mere 50 kilometers north of the center of the
city of Paris, and is adoringly known as "Hippodrome de Chantilly" in
its native French tongue. It's a pure-bred turf racecourse home to one
of France's flat racecourses, offering an ample variety of equestrian
activities and entertainment. Positioned next to the Chantilly Forest,
Chantilly Racecourse is situated on 65 hectares in the country's main
horse training area.
The sound of your footsteps on the cobbled streets of Chantilly, are
sure to be echoed by the hooves of the horses following you. It's a town
devoted to horses, with equestrian frescoes on the walls and statues in
the parks. Copies of the English horse-racing daily - The Racing Post,
can even be found here.
It can be said that Louis-Henri de Bourbon, 7th Prince de Conde, and
proprietor of the magnificent chateau from 1692-1740, fashioned
Chantilly's equestrian infatuation. He was so passionate about horses;
he believed that when he and his relatives passed on, they would be
reincarnated as horses. The architect Jean Aubert was commissioned in
1719 to design flamboyant stables, in order to ensure that de Bourbon
and his family would have a grand abode in which to live out their
reincarnation. The Grandes Ecuries stable is a colossal 186 meters long,
and is revered as the most stunning in the world. In 1833, two
equestrian noblemen discovered that the terrain was outstanding for
galloping, and adjoining the present Grandes Ecuries, the Hippodrome was
constructed, which the stables now set a ghostly milieu. In 1982, part
of the stables was converted into the Living Museum of the Horse.
On 15 May 1834, Chantilly Racecourse experienced its first race meet,
and now hosts two internationally legendary races in June: the Prix du
Jockey Club whose principal intention are the exceptionally superior
colts, and the Prix de Diane which recognize the paramount European
fillies. The meet is accompanied by a distinctive ambiance, combining
sporting passion with the finest champagne.