The lawn of an equestrian stadium with obstacles. In the background the grandstand.

Equestrian stadium in Riem

Giddy-up, horsey!

The equestrian stadium in Riem and the Nymphenburg Palace park were both used as venues for equestrian events in the 1972 Munich Summer Olympic Games. The stadium was the largest equestrian centre in Europe at the time. Today, horse shows and polo tournaments take place here every year at Pentecost, as part of the Pferd International riding event. Horse lovers can also enjoy a visit to the racecourse directly beside the stadium, which has been here since the end of the 19th century.

For the 1972 Games, an equestrian stadium, a riding hall, stables for 370 horses, accommodation for the grooms, an infirmary, show-jumping arenas and dressage arenas were built in Munich-Riem. The stadium was large enough to hold up to 23,000 spectators who could watch military dressage, military show jumping, individual show jumping and individual modern pentathlon competitions from a main stand with a glass roof. The stadium was also the start and end point for the 35-kilometre military cross-country riding event from Riem to Poing and back.

After the Olympic Games, the stadium continued to be used for tournaments. It also became Munich's second most important concert stage after the Olympic Stadium. From the mid-1970s to the early 1980s, two European Championships in show jumping and two German Championships in dressage and show jumping were held here. Concerts up until 2012 featured stars such as Bob Marley & The Wailers, Supertramp, Pink, Linkin Park, Coldplay and Green Day on stage.

Riem racecourse is located just beside the centre. It was originally built in 1897, though the spectator stand and stables for up to 350 thoroughbreds were added in 1972. The course was never technically an Olympic venue, although a new “Olympiapreis” (“Olympic prize”) race was held here in 1972, in honour of the Games.

Races still take place at the course between April and November each year, and attendees can bet on them if they wish. The Munich-Riem golf club runs a 9-hole course in the oval at the centre of the racetrack, and non-members are welcome to book a teeing-off slot there. There is a second racecourse just a kilometre away: Munich-Daglfing harness racing track. Here you can find a large flea market every Friday and Saturday, in addition to regular horse races.

 

 

Text: München Tourismus; Photo: Frank Stolle

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