My perfect day at Berlin’s racecourse Hoppegarten


What: „Grand Prize of Berlin“
Where:
Racecourse Hoppegarten, Berlin

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To study the program and to learn about the horses, is important

Last weekend the highlight of the season, the „Grand Prize of Berlin“, took place at the Berlin racecourse Hoppegarten. A trip to Germany‘s biggest and most beautifully turf with its 145 years of tradition needs specifically preparations. Particularly the most elegant lady should be nominated by a jury due to the 126th international champion-race. An incentive. Not only for the high-quality horses and jockeys.

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Me wearing a dress in pastel tones of Dolce Gabbana and a hat by Berlin millener Fiona Bennett

Because the motto on such a day is called “Spruce yourself up”. I chose a dress in pastel tones of Dolce Gabbana, which I shopped many years ago at Theresa, one of my favorite shops in Munich. However in a horse race, the essential feature of an outfit is the namely elegant headwear. To me in this matter there is only one address in Berlin worth considering: Fiona Bennett’s Hat Palace.

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Invited guests place on the porch of the former imperial grandstand and enjoy snacks whilst having the perfect view on the race

Tadaa, let the games begin: Glorious weather with bright blue sky in Berlin and a great visitor rush in Hoppegarten. Well protected with a gold-colored ribbons-creation, I walk past the snow-white Toto house in my Peep-Toes over the crunching gravel to the red bricked clubhouse, from whose VIP terrace – the former imperial grandstand – I observe the individual races with salmon fillet and strawberry tart. And of course I also inspect one or the other lady of the Berlin and Potsdam Society with their headdresses. And I got to see a lot!

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Versatile hat creations and their wearers in Berlin Hoppegarten

The mood in Hoppegarten is wonderful. People lying in fresh-mown grass with picnic baskets, you stroll, you bet. I also tip, once I back a horse for place and once I back for a win. Unfortunately without success, but at least with a small monetary commitment. Whilst drinking a glass of champagne I’m telling myself that being there and taking part is everything.

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Is number six going to win?

Suddenly I’m on stage as one of the nominated women for the “Prize for Elegance”. What an Honor! How exciting! Finding the right words when a microphone is held under your nose worked out fine. Only not with the first prize. This one goes to the lady in green. Applause. And as I said, being there is everything.

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Exciting. Suddenly I find myself under the nominated ladies for the “Prize for Elegance”, whose winner was honored with a watch of the “Longines Collection”

Finally resonates the starting signal the highlight of the day, the “Grand Prize of Berlin” over a distance of 2,400 meters. Now I would also like a pair of binoculars to spot the galloping horses in the distance. The exceptional stallion “Protectionist” wins with its jockey Eduardo Pedroza and two and a half lengths lead. Its owner can look forward to the prize money of 110,000 Euros. And his wife to the “Prize for Elegance”. What a great luck, believe it or not.  BvH

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“Protectionist” wins with its jockey Eduardo Pedroza. Photo: dpa

Info Hoppegarten:

Hoppegarten looks back on an exciting past. Founded in 1868, Hoppegarten counted as the most important German racecourse, which attracted up to 40.000 visitors, until the First World War.  After reunification investors were sought, who should awaken the traditional racetrack with new life. 2008 the former fund manager Gerhard Schönigh, who lived in London, took over the racecourse. He renovated the historic racecourse, which is nowadays a natural and historical monument. Now every year take up to eleven days of racing place, which also attract international racing teams. With 430 hectares Hoppegarten is Germany’s biggest racecourse

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Race-flair in historical ambience: Passing the snow-white Toto-house, over crunching gravel paths it’s getting onwards to the Wilhelmine wooden bleachers

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Chaiman of the racecourse committee Tini Gräfin Rothkirch with Gerhard Schöningh, the owner of racecourse Hoppegarten

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The leading ring: to me the most exciting place on the racecourse

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Every 20 minutes before each race a dense crowd of people gets together in front of the parade ring – a small oval, in which the horses absolve some rounds in slow tempo

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Preparation is everything: the jockeys talking to the owners and the trainers before the race

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A glimmer of Ascot: a single gentleman was seen in cut

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Final sprint!

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Where are they running?

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Elegant ladies and gents watch the race from the club terrace

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Always stylish: Isa Gräfin Hardenberg

Hats belong to a race

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PanAm-Lounge chief Natascha Bonnermann wearing the colors of the PanAm-Logo

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The „Grand Prize of Berlin“, which was founded 1888 in Hoppegarten, came back to its birthplace for the first time in 2011

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Media-Expert Jo Groebel and I

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From Switzerland arrived: Volker and Josephine Varnholt

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Grit Weiss – chic as always – with Hans-Rainer Schröder from BMW

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Actor and horse fanTom Schilling with his family

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Me and the king-of-ties Jan-Henrik Scheper-Stuke

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Chairman of the Race Committee is Tini Countess Rothkirch who established the new racing club

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TV presenter Tanja Bülther wearing a dress by Guido Maria Kretschmer

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The race is over. What a beautiful day!

Racecourse Hoppegarten:

www.hoppegarten.com

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