Where else can I go Jump racing around the world? Part III - Japan

A report after last weekend's racing drew attention to a territory where it would surprise most to learn that the richest Jumps race in the world is not the Grand National, nor even one of the prestigious steeplechases in France, whose racing is funded by a state-run tote. Actually, the most valuable Jumps event in the world is in a country barely known for Jump racing - Japan. Japan, a country with a largely Asia-centric outlook, has never seen hide nor hair of a foxhound pack, has no heritage of the sport, and boasts but a small calendar of jumping at 8 racecourses. And it was none other than the British who brought racing under both codes to Japan in the 1860s, at the peak of the Victoria

Where else can I go Jump racing around the world? Part II - the Americas

America is the land of opportunity, yet despite that, Jump racing has only ever caught on in the United States, and even then, only in states bordering the eastern seaboard. Venture west or into the central states, and Jumping will be seen as “some quirky British thing”. Yet, among the 26 courses staging steeplechasing and timber races in the US, there is a strong following and a young demographic that would look right at home in Cheltenham’s Arkle Bar. Race fixtures, largely run by non-profit organisations, are most often run for charitable purposes, and give the impression of a grown-up British Point-to-Point; I say grown-up, because prices can be spectacularly American and put the lie to

Where else can I go Jump racing around the world?

With the news that Ireland’s attempt at closed doors racing has become a short-lived attempt to outwit the virus, western Europe is a wasteland for sporting endeavour, with no nation permitting organised sport at any level. Even Wimbledon - that epitome of British unhurried calm - has capitulated in the path of the all-conquering Coronavirus. The shutdown serves as a reminder that enjoying racing need not be limited to the British Isles. Jump racing is practiced all over the world and especially in Europe but the racing seasons and style of racing are very different in the different countries of Europe. This week, I am starting a series of blogs illustrating the range of venues around the wo

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