A Day at the Races in Longchamp (2) – The Full Story

Longchamp is a racecourse in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. Time Magazine (subscribers only) had a story on the end of horse racing not so long ago. This is why we decided to go to the races, in order not to miss something. I found it really interesting and a great, and difficult, subject for photography too. Here is the full story of my day at the races.

the Longchamp racecourse (HDR)
The racecourse is teeming with punters … hummmmm not really…
A Day at the Races in Longchamp (2) - The Full Story
Wait a minute … I found one; nice hat!

A Day at the Races in Longchamp (2) - The Full Story
Horses going round the “parade ring”, an important part of the horse racing ritual. Then, punters rush to the betting stalls (and self-service kiosks, far less romantic) to put a €2 or €10 wager on the gigis they have seen parading around the ring.

A Day at the Races in Longchamp (2) - The Full Story
Here they are … betting in full swing (even though most of it is happening either remotely or over the Internet)

A Day at the Races - The Full Story
I like the patterns on their backs or whatever they call it in horse speak.

Shaking hands with the owners. Horses and jockeys are coming from all over the world. This one above is Tom Queally from Ireland.

The “parade ring” show is over, jockeys and horses are heading for the racecourse.

Oooops! Wait a minute, I’m losing my helmet!

The horses started from all the way across the racecourse, but here they come … very fast. Here’s that man with his iPad on the left. Hmmmm, certainly a great photo he took there!

Can you see anything, mate?

Number 5 seemed to win all the races … and then I realised it wasn’t the same number 5. Maybe that’s the lucky number. My wife got 2 out of the first 3 horses in that race and she won bloody nothing. I found that very unfair.

Longchamp - horse galop - finish
The final gallop. Imagine the state of that turf after the race…

The finish line (I like the way that horses are caught as if hanging in the air, defying gravity.

The race is over, and jockeys and horses go back to their stalls. Jockeys aren’t always young, this one looks like he is 100 years old. Very surprising.

This one is younger.

Watching the screen… and goodbye Longchamp!

Yann Gourvennec
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  1. Superbe série !!! On retrouve l’ambiance particulière d’un champs de course … la prochaine fois tu pourras faire un focus sur les abords de l’hippodrome en shootant les coureurs et les cyclistes qui font un ou plusieurs tours.

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