mauritiusturfclub.com (Horse Racing)
The Mauritius Turf Club
Champ de Mars Port Louis
- 211 2147
- 208 3211
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The Mauritius Turf Club’s history would not be complete without mentioning The Mauritius Jockey Club. Founded in 1904 by Raoul Gufflet, George Rougier Lagane and Willy Dawson, the Mauritius Jockey Club did contribute to the promotion of racing in the island. From 1906 to 1943, the Mauritius Jockey Club organised races at the Mangalkan track in Floréal. In 1943, the stands in Mangalkan were requisitioned by the Admiralty and from then on the Mauritius Jockey Club organised its races at the Champ de Mars track. The collaboration between the two Clubs ended up in their merger in 1958 and with that important happening, the Mauritius Turf Club gathered more momentum to develop racing in Mauritius.
Racehorses coming to Mauritius to continue their racing careers are from various origins. Long ago, import facilities were not developed in the island and importing racehorses was quite an “enterprise” in itself. In 1836, for the first time, some thoroughbreds were imported from Britain and South Africa by the Club. In the following year, two thoroughbreds from France and the famous Faugaballah joined them to enhance the level of competition. From then on, the number of horses imported annually by the Club kept increasing constantly and by the 1980’s about eighty horses were imported each year. Usually, two months or so before the start of the season, a special draw was organised with a view to distributing the horses to the stables, but to-day, importation of racehorses is fully “private” and each stable, via its members, imports its own string of newcomers for the season. South Africa, Australia, France and Britain are among the most common origins with a big majority though coming from all the provinces of South Africa.
Undeniably, racing is the most popular sport on the island and a high level of professionalism has been attained in the organisation of races over the last decades, thereby boosting competition levels, with a view to preserving the unique electrifying ambiance prevailing on racedays at The Champ de Mars.