Saturday October 17 was the season finale of racing at Leipzig’s Scheibenholz. Despite the early autumnal weather nearly 4,000 punters enjoyed a full day of horse racing. Myself and the girlfriend joined the crowds hoping to make some easy money on the GG’s.
We bought our tickets online and showed up at the noon opening time. This was a bit early but gave us a chance to check out the grounds of this cool and little known place. You can walk around pretty much everywhere, including the stables. Basic entry was €7 each but we paid €14 to sit in the Grandstand.
The circuit is 1,750m and the season finale was flat racing (ie. no jumping) so the races today were quick and winning all about the horse’s speed and the jockey’s sprinting skill. Due to earlier rain the ground was soft and, according to some serious punters I spoke to this favoured the underdogs.
Simply fill out a betting slip, selecting either an outright ‘win’ or a ‘place’, meaning your horse comes somewhere in the first 2, 3, or 4 spots, and give this and your money to the cashier at the numerous wettkassen. Odds for each horse are displayed on screens everywhere. Well the tipsters were right, my number 8 at 16:1 came in first on the 5th race!
There’s the typical Saxon fare of bratwurst, stodgy bread and cheese treats etc., and plenty of traditional beer and hot glühwein (mulled wine). I also noticed a couple of nice looking restaurants beneath the Grandstand. We saw people bring in their own food and drink too without problem.
Leipzig Scheibenholz is located at the southern end of Clara Zetkin park in Südvorstadt. The Leipziger Rennklub (Leipzig racing club) was founded here in 1863 and in its heyday held 30 race days per year. The Grandstand dates from the early days and was renovated in 2012.
Nowadays the racing season runs from May to October with only 4 race days in 2015 plus also cultural events such as market days and open-air cinema. However, like everything in Leipzig today, the popularity is growing so expect more racing in the years ahead.
Check Pinterest for more photos of our day out at the races.