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racetrack Switzerland's legendary horse racing track - in pictures

The "Schachen" is considered the most beautiful horse racing venue in Switzerland, attracting some 7,000 spectators a day in summer.

There are four race days per season at the Schachen, located in the northern Swiss city of Aarau - two in early summer, two in late summer.

The "Trotter Championship", endowed with prize money of CHF40,000, is the main event on the third day at the Schachen. In total around CHF105,000 is paid out per day, spread over seven races. The Schachen club needs sponsors to cover the prize money and maintenance of the track and infrastructure. The club also generates income from other events, such as an open-air cinema.

An automated irrigation system keeps the track green, even during hot, dry summers like this past one.

The afternoon begins with two pony races jockeyed by young riders. Young spectators are particularly keen on betting, alongside the older regulars.

Whether they bet on "Chérie", "Mai Thai", "Sing-Sing" or "Les Sables Blancs" is of secondary importance since betting provides a rush of adrenaline.

The races are also folk festivals: there are pony rides and a nursery for small children, and on Sundays many young families head to the races, especially if they have horse-loving young girls.

The first races were held at the Schachen in 1921, which made it the first permanent horse racing venue in Switzerland. The striking grandstand, covered by a concrete roof, was completed in 1947.

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