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Arc de Triomphe Horse Race

In the heart of Paris, at the iconic Longchamp Racecourse, unfolds a spectacle of horse skills and international prestige—the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. 

Established in 1920 and aptly named after the triumphal arch, Arc de Triomphe, that graces the city, this Group 1 flat horse race is the epitome of global racing excellence. 

With thoroughbreds aged three years or older competing, the race covers a challenging distance of 2,400 meters (1½ miles).

Taking place every first Sunday in October, the ‘Arc’ is a monumental celebration of speed, skill, and legacy. 

The event’s slogan, ‘Ce n’est pas une course, c’est un monument’’ translates to ‘It’s not a race, it’s a monument.’

With over 60,000 attendees during the ‘Arc’-Weekend and millions tuning in from 50 countries, it’s the world’s most prestigious all-aged horse race. 

At the 2023 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Ace Impact took on the 12-furlong challenge for the first time and rushed down the home stretch to secure a spectacular win.

The horse’s trainer Jean-Claude Rouget and jockey Cristian Demuro saw their second victory in four years. 

The Arc de Triomphe Horse Race 2024 edition on Saturday, October 5, and Sunday, October 6, 2024, promises an explosive gathering of classic winners from England, Ireland, France, Germany, and Italy. 

It is an unforgettable experience witnessing the crowning of champions and the making of legends at Europe’s richest race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe!

History

Paying respect to the soldiers of the First World War, the main event, initiated in 1920, has evolved into one of the world’s premier racing meetings.

The fascinating history of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is intertwined with the transformation of French horse racing. 

The Société d’Encouragement, once limited to French-born and bred thoroughbreds, broke new ground in 1863 with the Grand Prix de Paris, welcoming the best three-year-olds from around the world. 

Thirty years later, the Prix du Conseil Municipal became an international competition for horses of all ages, held over 2,400 meters every October. 

The idea for a third prestigious race emerged in 1920, aiming to showcase French thoroughbred breeding without penalizing past victories. 

Post-World War I, the race was named the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after the iconic monument that witnessed the Allies’ victory parade in 1919.

An alternative name, ‘Prix de la Victoire,’ was considered but deferred in favor of the enduring association with the Arc de Triomphe. 

This decision connects the race’s historical significance as a symbol of post-war celebration and international horseracing excellence.

While the racecourse underwent a glamorous makeover, shifting to Chantilly in 2016

and 2017, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe has found its triumphant return to ParisLongchamp.

A Weekend Event– Horses, food and champagne 

Weekend Event– Horses, food and champagne
Image: Galahospitality.co.uk

Set against the breathtaking backdrop of Paris Longchamp racecourse in the Bois de Boulogne, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe horse race (Arc) is a weekend extravaganza.

Arc weekend is a melting pot of international flair, attracting participants and spectators from England, Ireland, Germany, Japan, the Middle East, and more. 

The event is broadcast in 50 countries, making it a truly global racing experience.

The atmosphere is electric, as you witness the world’s finest horses and jockeys competing for the coveted prize in Europe’s most valuable flat horse race, Arc de Triomphe. 

As the horses thunder down the track, the air is filled with excitement.

The glamor quotient is elevated with a delightful array of dining options, including the Bistro Triomphe and the high-end Panorama Restaurant. 

Culinary delights of Arc weekend range from simple takeout sandwiches and ice cream to the Panoramic restaurant’s exquisite foie gras and roasted sea bass. 

Traditional French items like crepes are readily available, and food trucks in the infield offer diverse options, from fish and chips to dim sum.

The weekend is a sensory delight, not just for racing enthusiasts but for families, offering live music and entertainment. 

Bois de Boulogne beckons with its Auteuil racecourse, Fondation Louis Vuitton art exhibits, Château de Bagatelle gardens, and the iconic Stade de Roland Garros. 

To toast to the festivities, Champagne takes center stage as the featured beverage of the weekend. 

Several bars around the course exclusively serve France’s signature drink, an apt complement to a weekend filled with thrilling races, international fellowship, and delectable cuisine.

Accommodations for all budgets abound, ensuring a comfortable stay within walking distance or a convenient metro ride to the center of Paris. 

Whether you’re a seasoned horseracing aficionado or someone seeking an elegant day out, Arc weekend promises a world-class experience. 

Priced for everyone, tickets to the Arc start at just €12 (about $10), and entrance is free for those under 18. 

Unlike many other top sporting events, attending the Arc de Triomphe horse racing won’t break the bank. 

For this dazzling fusion of fashion and sport, you can dress up in hats and fancy attire if you like, but it’s not required.

When in Paris visit the monument that inspired the name of this world-famous race.

With Arc de Triomphe rooftop tickets climb the top of the arch standing at an intersection of 12 avenues and witness panoramic views of the city and beyond.

Ticket Price 

You can experience the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with diverse ticket options. 

Arc Gardens, at £10 per person, offers trackside views and vibrant amenities. 

With numerous food outlets, bars, and betting stands, it is the most economical option to the left of the main grandstand. 

Winning Post Enclosure, starting at £30, provides proximity to racing and access to the main Grandstand, terrace steps, front lawns, Parade Ring views, and entry to the Arc Gardens. 

Premium Grandstand Seats, available only as weekend tickets, offer individual seats with prime panoramic views, along with access to the main stand’s Ground Floor and Level 1.

Dress code 

Dress code
Image: CNN.com

The dress code for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Paris Longchamp racecourse is relaxed yet stylish. 

While there’s no strict rule, men are encouraged to wear black tie, and ladies are recommended to don hats, especially for evening events. 

However, when attending the racecourse, there’s no set Arc de Triomphe dress code, allowing you the freedom, to embrace national dress if you wish. 

Given the October weather, it’s wise to dress comfortably and be prepared for cooler or wet conditions. 

Ladies have the option to wear hats and can choose from a range of outfits, from dresses to casual attire. 

For men, a smart and fun approach is suggested, with options like full suits or sharp trousers paired with a shirt and jacket. 

Wear sensible footwear, and don’t forget a coat for extra warmth if the weather decides not to cooperate on the day. 

With no guaranteed seating, get ready for a stylish and enjoyable experience, similar to the fashionable vibe of the Cheltenham Festival.

FAQs

When is the Arc de Triomphe horse race?

The Arc de Triomphe horse race is scheduled to take place on 5 and 6 October 2024.

The race in the heart of Paris offers the opportunity to experience the excitement and grandeur of one of the most prestigious racing events in the world.

Featured Image: Nytimes.com

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