Horse racing returns to Wrocław's Partynice Racecourse this weekend, where a number of attractions are planned for the 2018 season opener.
The racecourse, one of just 3 in Poland, is the only place in the country where steeplechase races are held. One the defining features of the racecourse is its picturesque vintage architecture, including a cosy tearoom building and a wooden grandstand, both of which were built in 1907.
On Sunday 7 races with take place, during which several several dozen riders will battle it out in both flat and hurdle racing, as well as the steeplechase.
The races are scattered across a 6 hour period, during which a number of other attractions are to take place. There will be an equestrian vaulting show, pony rides for children and live music by the Dixie Tigers Band. Everything gets underway at 2pm and entry is free.
In order to get to Partynice via public transport, you'll need to to use a combination of tram and bus. From the centre, take tram numbers 6,7,2 or 17 to Krzyki. Once there you can then take bus number 113 or 612 to Partynice – the race course is just a five minute walk from the bus stop.
Horse Racing in many other parts of the world is often perceived as a snobbish, upper class sport, where posh frocks and pretentious top-hats are very much the order of the day. The same can't be said of the scene at Partynice race course however: the entry is free and a formal dress code is only encouraged, not strictly applied. This relaxed vibe helps to draw in casual punters and creates an easy-going atmosphere that will strike a chord with people of all ages.
There are several bookies on site, including in the concourse of the main grandstand. To get to know the odds of the runners, there are several screens with the number of the horse and the corresponding odds next to it in the table. To make a bet, simply go to the counter and name your horse, the race it's participating in, and your stake. You can also see the jockeys escorting their horses in the parade area before the race, which may give you an indication as to who you should put your money on.
A day at the races in Partynice is certainly a pleasant day out and well worth trying if you haven't been before. There is very much a 'picnic' style atmosphere in the grounds as well, making it ideal for families.