Over 2,500 thoroughbred horses are trained in Chantilly, making it the largest training centre in Europe. It is also one of the most exquisite; in the heart of the forest, with grass, sand, and polytrack gallops all perfectly maintained by the dedicated France Galop team. This tranquil setting is the ideal place to train racehorses.
The gallops are made up of 120 hectares of grass gallops, including both left and right hand galloping tracks on the ‘Aigles’, and a 2000m straight grass gallop known as ‘les reservoirs’. There are 120 kilometers of sand tracks winding through the forest, making this illustrious training centre not only one of the most comprehensive in Europe, but also the most scenic. During the summer months we also have the privilege to work the horses on Chantilly racecourse itself. This provides invaluable preparation in developing horses for the big races.
Chantilly Racecourse, inaugurated in 1834, overlooks the famous Chateau de Chantilly and the Grand Écuries, built in 1720 by Louis Henri de Bourbon Condé, who believed he would be reincarnated after death as a horse (perhaps we are training him now!). These buildings are a reminder that horses have always been synonymous with this town. They provide a stunning backdrop to the summer racing, including the French Classics the Prix du Jockey Club and the Prix de Diane, and are also one of the most popular tourist destinations outside of Paris.
It couldn’t be easier to visit Chantilly, with the town situated just north of Paris, a 25 minute drive from the main airport Charles de Gaulle, a 25 minute train from Gare du Nord, where the Eurostar arrives, or a 2 hour drive from Calais.
The French-bred premiums provide a huge incentive to own and race in France. The increasing number of trainers sending their French-bred horses over to France is testament to this. The premiums are as follows: 75% for two-year olds, 63% for three-year olds, and 48% for four-year olds and upwards. The majority of French-bred yearlings pass through the Arqana sale ring at Deauville, in August or October. The sale in August coincides with the month-long racing festival that is held there.