Berlin-Hoppegarten Racecourse has announced the exercise of a purchase option for the historic Neuenhagen training track situated in the close vicinity of Hoppegarten racecourse.
The purchase contract should be completed by 30th September 2015. The purchase option is part of the 2008 purchase agreement of the Hoppegarten racecourse estate negotiated with the German privatisation agency BBVG.
The Neuenhagen training track covers an area of 430 acres (training track and in-field 190 acres, woodland 100 acres, agricultural land 78 acres). The track is located only 2 km from Hoppegarten racecourse and 18 km from the centre of Berlin. Large areas of the estate are subject to nature and historic interest preservation orders. Until the post 1945 division of Germany and Berlin, Hoppegarten and Neuenhagen were the leading racecourse and training centre in Germany.
Following the privatisation of Hoppegarten racecourse and the Bollensdorf training track (518 acres in total) in 2008, the Neuenhagen training track, a key asset of Germany’s former racing headquarters, has been under threat of being lost to racing. Having secured this strategic asset on the outskirts of Berlin, racecourse owner Gerhard Schöningh, together with a suitable partner, intends to develop the training track into a state of the art racehorse training facility.
Built in 1910, the Neuenhagen training track boasts three oval turf tracks between 16 and 14 metres wide, with a total length of nearly 9,000 metres. Two tracks originally used to be watered. In addition, there is a 3,400 metre long dirt track.
These facilities were unique in Germany and highly acclaimed by international experts in the 1930s who compared them favourably to the training facilities at Chantilly and Newmarket at that time.
Until 1945 Neuenhagen was used by about 200 horses from top racing yards Schlenderhan, Graditz and Waldfried. Legendary racehorses like OLEANDER (Germany’s first Arc runner in 1928) and SCHWARZGOLD were trained here. They and many others became cornerstones of the German breeding industry.
From 1945 until 1990, under the communist regime, racehorse ownership was nationalised and horses of publicly owned racing yards like Graditz, Görlsdorf and Hoppegarten exercised on the track, including FAKTOTUM (East German Triple Crown and Moscow Gold Cup winner). Today about 40 racehorses, including some trotters still use the track on a regular basis.
Hoppegarten’s owner Gerhard Schöningh said: “Since the privatisation of the racecourse in 2008, Hoppegarten has become the track with the biggest improvement in the quality of its racing, in racecourse attendance and betting.
“My ambition is to restore racing and training at Hoppegarten and Neuenhagen to its historic number one position in Germany, and our dynamic capital Berlin provides us with a good backdrop for this plan. Securing this historic and well-located track for the future will benefit racing in Germany and is an important part of this strategy.”