The Limousin Region
Once again the better weather arrives, and the equestrian activities at Pompadour begin in earnest. This year’s programme is very full with some new additions. Entrance to the Racecourse is but 6€ and most of the other events are free.
The racing season begins in May with the first race and then continues throughout July and August with many of the meetings being on Sunday afternoons. Particularly interesting days include celebrating the twinning with Folkestone in the UK; Picnic Day in the hippodrome grounds before the races; Elegance Day with prizes for hats and best dressers; and races for amateurs and lady jockeys.
A panoramic restaurant is available on all race days , but you need to book as it is well filled with prices for the meal and the use of the restaurant to view all the races for the whole afternoon around 32€.
A particular day to remember is 'Assumption'. In the hippodrome there is morning Mass, and a full race card in the afternoon. Meanwhile there is a high level show-jumping competition going on, including into the evening.
Bastille Day is also special, as it is the National Donkey Day in Pompadour. Organised by a local Association, Réunir du Pays, a whole day’s activities are arranged. There are, as you can expect, many donkeys, but in addition there are many other activities and presentations going on all day long. This year the afternoon spectaculars will all be associated with ponies. In the evening there is a funfair and fabulous firework display from the Château walls as soon as it is really dark. It you are still not exhausted there is an open air dance near the Salle des Fetes in Pompadour, which goes on until the early hours.
But, as it is said ‘That is not all’!!! From March onwards there is a very full fixture list of eventing, show jumping, and dressage. The level for many events is either National championships, or even Olympic selection events. Each year the level seems to be raised and we have the University Championships for the first time. Particular dates to note the French National Eventing Championships in early May; high level international dressage competition in August; and the Grande Semaine de Pompadour in September which attracts upwards of 600 horses for a week of competition across all disciplines.
Finally, and possibly one of the most entertaining, is a Horse Ball competition with some of the best teams of France, combined with a week-end of Dressage. This all takes place at Easter with the Horse Ball on the Saturday and Sunday. It is nothing to do with ‘going to the Ball’: it is a relatively new sport which is simply described as basketball on horseback. It was invented in France some 20 years ago and is now played across some forty countries including the UK. It is fast, exciting and apparently very entertaining. To know more Google ‘Horse Ball’, and then come along.
Société des Courses de Pompadour
Tel: 0555 73 57 49
Other Equestrian Activities
Les Trois Tours de Pompadour
Tel: 0555 98 51 10
Office de Tourisme de Pompadour
Tel: 0555 98 55 47