Deauville, the Kingdom of Horses
Deauville: beaches stretching on as far as the eye can see, an unforgettable walk on the Planches, its famous American Film Festival, and famous establishments. But the city is also known as a foremost destination for horses and racetracks! Deauville's racetracks are full of charm and a festive atmosphere as can only be found in Normandy.
Top-Quality Horse Racetracks in Deauville La Touques
Opened in 1864, Deauville's racetrack quickly became one of the first-ranked in France. Deauville-La Tocques is spread across 75 hectares, including 20 tracks, two on turf and one on synthetic sand; three polo fields; and at least 300 horses all year-round. Complete with one of the largest horse training centers in Europe, the Deauville-La Touques racetracks hold high esteem in the French equestrian world.
Nicknamed the "Four Seasons Racetrack," Deauville-La Touques hosts a number of large events throughout the year.
The most famous of which, without a doubt, is the Meeting de Deauville Lucien Barrière with five Group 1 gallop races, the top category in the equestrian world. It's an opportunity to admire magnificent thoroughbred horses, as well as some the sport's most famous jockeys. Several activities accompany the main event. Whether you're an amateur or an expert, you can't help but get caught up in the suspense of horse racing.
Don't forget the yearling sale, which takes place around the same time of year. The very best French thoroughbreds and a high-quality selection of foreign foals are available at the Salle Elie de Brignac. The bidding wars offer a captivating and original show that you just can't find anywhere else.
Also a must-see in Deauville: the Meeting d'Autumne and the Equiday's, celebrating the horse industry in the Calvados. Dozens of activities and celebrations are planned throughout the region: stud farm tours, horse races, and all sorts of horse-themed festivities.
Near Christmastime, horse races continue with the Meeting d'Hiver, which takes place on a specially-designed synthetic sand course. If you're not one for colder weather, warm up at the Restaurant Panoramique La Toque for a traditional meal with a superb view of the race courses, or the Brasserie du Restaurant Les Jardins du Paddock.
Bucolic Horse Races at the Clairefontaine Tracks in Deauville
Established in 1928, this magnificent racetrack includes 40 hectares and 18 courses. Deauville Clairefontaine is equipped with four special courses: one with a 2,000 meter plate, one with jumping fences, one obstacle course, and one trotting course. It's the only multidisciplinary race course in Normandy.
The Clairefontaine courses are open from June to October, with three high periods: the Deauville grand steeple-chase, the Grand Course Hippique de Haies-Guillaume d'Ornano, and the Grand Prix de Clairefontaine, which closes the season each year.
In a bucolic setting, in the middle of apple trees and flowers, the racetrack invites visitors to relax and enjoy French art de vivre. It's a great time of year in Normandy when racetracks open for the season to reveal all their new marvels. Constructed well away from the crowds, the buildings offer a beautiful example of Normandy's architecture with timber frames and period-appropriate modernism. A little jewel in the middle of the region's amazing natural landscapes.
A number of pieces of instructure especially mark the character of the site: a small farm for temporary exhibits, a rich and diverse selection of restaurants ranging from chic Champagne bars to lunches on the grass, a free daycare with pony and donkey rides, carriage rides, mini-car rides, and more.
The Clairefontaine tracks also have "theme days," renewed each year around a different theme, so each day brings a new adventure. Activities focusing on travel, games, sports, and more are offered to guarantee a fun day for all audiences.
Each day at Clairefontaine begins with a traditional behind-the-scenes tour, where visitors can discover the secrets of horse racing. Towards the end of the morning, enjoy an authentically Norman apéritif with cheeses, cider, apple juice, pommeau, and pear juice under blooming apple trees.
Horse Races Around Deauville
Cabourg offers horse racing in a completely new and ultramodern set of courses. Its summer meeting is well known for its nocturnal races. Activities, concerts, and shows accompany its usual equestrian schedule for a great evening under the stars.
On the edge of town, Caen's racetracks offer horse trotting courses. Nearly thirty races are organized each year between March and November. The most peculiar part of the racetrack is undoubtedly its extremely long, completely straight course, which is most used by local breeders.
In the heart of the Pays d'Auge, the Lisieux racetrack welcomes not only horse racing, but also equestrian shows, horse and carriage competitions, and award ceremonies. The site also has a number of inflatable attractions and pony rides, ideal for family trips.
Cultivate your curiosity with a peaceful walk on one of Deauville's beaches. Each morning and evening, horses come and relax along the shore to enjoy the benefits of the sea, which is a great treat for the eyes. The Centre International de Deauville and other equestrian centers in the region offer horse training and horseback riding on the beach or in the surrounding landscape. Get adventurous in Deauville! This prime horse destination guarantees plenty of surprises.