The history of the racecourse

More than 160 years of gallop racing in Iffezheim


The history of the racecourse dates back to 1858.

The casino operator Edouard Bénazet initiated the horse races as another social highlight at the gates of Baden-Baden. At the beginning, 3 grandstands were erected on the extensive grounds.

The event soon became very popular and developed into a meeting place for the European aristocracy.

The Franco-German war ended this first phase of the racecourse. In 1872, the International Club was founded, which from then on acted as the organizer of the gallop races. Prince Carl Egon zu Fürstenberg was appointed as the first president.

In 1873 the first race day of the International Club was held and the following year 4 race days were held for the first time in August under the auspices of the new operator.

History forced the racecourse to take a first break from racing for almost 6 years between 1914-1920.

Also the 2nd world war made the organization of the races impossible, between 1940 and 1950 the racing operation paused (only 1941 took place again 4 racing days).

From 1951, racing days could be held again for the first time and the facility awoke to new life.

In 1963, a yearling auction was held for the first time as part of the Great Week, which developed into the Baden-Baden Auction Company, which has its headquarters next to the racecourse in Iffezheim.

In Iffezheim the meeting race days have a very special character and so in 1972 the spring meeting was introduced, accompanied by a second thoroughbred auction.

The construction of the Bénazet Grandstand in 2004 was the foundation stone for further racing days, which also featured a combination of gallop races and auction. The Sales & Racing Festival was born.

However, the international club had overstretched itself financially and had to file for bankruptcy in 2009.

From 2010 until the end of 2020, Baden Racing GmbH was responsible for the gallop races in Iffezheim. However, as a result of the Corona pandemic, the operators of the previous company withdrew and terminated their lease.

A new tender for the historic facility was therefore necessary. The concept of Peter Gaul and his team was convincing; the municipal council, chaired by Mayor Christian Schmid, approved the award on March 15, 2021, with a large majority.

Baden Galopp is therefore since April 1 the new operator of the wonderful facility in Iffezheim, at the gates of Baden - Baden. The Great Week 2021 was the first event under the direction of Baden Galopp and included 4 racing days.

Eleven race days are planned for 2022. You can find the dates here.

Why gallop races?

Gallop races are the performance tests prescribed by law by the state as for other livestock breeds - with the aim of enabling success-oriented animal breeding. Only with those, which correspond to the breeding goal, should be bred further. Who best corresponds to the breeding goal of the thoroughbred horse/ gallop racehorse is indicated by the finish post on the racetrack. Therefore the races.

In addition, the sport of galloping has developed into a popular leisure activity for the population, where spectators have the opportunity to participate directly in the sporting events through betting.