Le Roc


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Pompadour's beautiful racecourse
Pompadour's beautiful racecourse
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Pompadour - The 'Cité du Cheval'

Technical Information
Facilities & Services
Racing & Events
Further Information


Background - The 'city of horses' is a pretty chocolate-box town with a welcoming, gentle community and is named after Louis XV's favourite mistress, Madame de Pompadour. The splendid XV century fortified chateau, which he bought in 1745 to house his extravagant lover, dominates the centre of Pompadour, and overlooks the magnificent racecourse.

It was here in Pompadour in 1751 that Madame de Pompadour created the stud farm (Haras) with just 3 stallions and 10 mares. This is now internationally recognised as the main headquarters for the breeding of Anglo-Arabians (since 1872) and is responsible for the research into breeding and the registering of breeding details.

The racecourse was created in 1836 and was originally devoted to training, with the first races taking place in 1837. Steeplechasing began in 1919. In addition to steeplechase, Pompadour's annual race events also include flat and cross-country. This increasingly popular racecourse is rated as 1st class for steeplechasing, 2nd class A for the flat and is considered to be one of the most beautiful and most undulating in France. It is also one of the few courses in the southwest of France to see a rise in both public attendance and participants. There are also numerous show-jumping and dressage events held throughout the year.

Many horses stop to race at this picturesque Corrèzian town on their way to other events in Paris or Pau. The leading trainers of France such as Guillaume Macaire, Jaques Ortet, Jean-Pierre Totain, and even Arnaud Chaillé-Chaillé have taken part in the meetings at Pompadour. Furthermore, the best of French jockeys, for example, Christophe Pieux, Jacques Ricou, Fabrice Barrao and Benoit Gicquel ride regularly at Pompadour, which also sees the racing colours of the most prestigious stables such as those of Wildenstein, Baron Edouard de Rothschild, the brothers Werthheimer, the Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum and Robert Fougedoire.

The Pompadour Stud farm (Haras) is one of the most prestigious in the country. The 89-hectare-pasture national brood-mare farm Jumenterie La Rivière is believed to be the only one in France and is a spectacular sight in the spring. The site is world famous as the birthplace of the Anglo-Arabian breed. Since the 1950s, the primary driver of saddle horse breeding in France has been competitive show-jumping, the activity most commonly practised by over 400,000 registered members of the French Riding Federation (France has over 650,000 riders). There are guided tours of the Stud farm, brood-mare farm and chateau. There are four riding centres in and around Pompadour where you can go riding, and many bridleways through woodland and surrounding countryside. The entire Pompadour estate was listed as "natural beauty of general interest" by a ministerial decree in 1926.

Technical Information

  • 36-hectare site with approximately 2 hectares of track, bordered by forest
  • 2000 metre sand flat track (regularly watered), approximately 14 metres wide, and a home straight of 300 metres
  • 7 starting posts at 1200, 1400, 1700, 2000, 2200, 2400 & 2600 metres
  • Grass-track for steeplechase with natural 'green' hedges, regularly watered
  • 3 hurdle race tracks (2700, 3000 & 3400 metres)
  • 2 steeplechase tracks (3600 & 4200 metres)
  • 3 cross-country tacks (two at 4500 and one at 5000 metres)
  • 3 international-level dressage arenas
  • Show-jumping arena
  • Stabling

Racing Entrance Fees

(Events such as dressage and show-jumping are FREE for spectators.)

  • Handicapped, less than 14 yrs old, professional cards - FREE
  • Standard rate - 6 €
  • Groups (minimum 20 persons) - 4,50 €

Racecourse Facilities & Services

  • Up to 1500 spectators in the stand with 1050 seated
  • Free parking available
  • Panoramic restaurant for spectators on the top floor of the stand
  • Local amenities including further restaurants etc within a minute's walk
  • Betting facilities

Racing and Events

Racing tends to be held on Sunday afternoons from May to September, with almost weekly racing taking place in July and August. There are normally 4 flat races on the oval circuit, and 3 steeple chase or cross country events. Dates for 2021: 30/05; 27/06; 04, 14, 18, 25 & 31/07; 15, 22 & 29/08; 05/09. For more information, please visit www.courses-pompadour.com.

The 'Sport' events (as they are known here) of dressage, showjumping and 3-day eventing, are of a very high level. The highest level is the Olympic level with international participation, and there is Professional 1 and 2 (Pro 1 & 2) at a slightly lower level. Indeed, Pompadour has been officially designated as a training ground for the 2024 Olympics so will see some exciting events over the coming years. Competitions begin as early as March through to the end of October. Please visit www.pompadour-equestre.com for more information.

Other racing and equestrian competitions/events generally held July to September incl include evening equestrian/cabaret shows*; carriage racing; national level greyhound racing; voltige*, and more.

*The spectacular equestrian evening show held throughout July and August including voltige (acrobatics on horseback), dancers, live music and dinner.
Click IFCE and Scenes de Manege for more information.
Click here or here to see a video clip of a previous show.

Further Information

For other local information and events, please visit:

At Le Roc any horse-lover will find themselves in paradise.

Copyright © 2005-2021 S Blackburn, Le Roc, France