Meran racecourse, that hosts the Gran Premio, since 1935 arouses great emotions
Meran racecourse, known also as “Maia”, lies at the very heart of the city. Surrounded by the Alps, you can also admire the Texelgruppe.
The racecourse was built in 1935 by architect Vietti Violi, then fully appreciated in Europe. In the same year took place the first edition of Gran Premio Merano. The city of Meran hosted races already in 19th century, when the area was under the House of Habsburg. Surely it was the racecourse construction that first attracted race enthusiasts from Italy and Europe.
Architect Vietti Violi designed two stands: the major one for the public and the minor for VIP. The wide sloping roof without piles allows to see the races with complete free sight. The architect did not leave out a detail and projected with great care also the huge stairwells leading to the stands. The upper stalls were made with a box-like entirely embossed structure.
The jump racing can be subdivided into steeplechasing and hurdling. The racecourse stretches across a 40 hectares and is the most famous worldwide for flat and jump racing.
Meran racecourse season
From May to October. Here are planned 25 competition days and 140 races, mainly during the weekend. The climate and the geographical location allow races also in July and August.
Gran Premio Merano
It took place for the first time in 1935 when the construction was finished. The stunning panorama and the brilliant architecture made Meran racecourse a significant and charming attraction of the city. VIP from whole Europe have taken part to the history of Gran Premio Meran. For instance the Frenchman Roi de Trèfle who was the first winner of the race or Pigalle whose gallop charmed everyone in 1968. It is still considered the most striking gallop in race history.
The main part of the race takes place in front of the public. Fence, water jump, oxer, double and vertical combinations are the main obstacles. The difficulty of the track draws the attention of spectators for the whole race because every obstacle can be tricky.