les poneys Photography: Nils Ericson The most prestigious weekend in European thoroughbred racing takes place in early October, on the banks of the Seine. Since its debut in 1920, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe has emerged as one of the most important turf runs in the world, and it now helms a weekend gathering of internationally bred horses unlike any other. In 2014, thanks to its sponsor, the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, the "Arc" became one of the two richest races in the world. And wherever there are colts, fillies, and big purses, the fabulous and wealthy are sure to follow. 1 / 242 / 243 / 24Only French-bred horses can run at the Arc, but there is no age limit. In fact, many compete for multiple years, as two-, three- and four-year-olds.4 / 245 / 24The Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club’s sponsorship of the race began in 2008, and instigated a new Arc weekend tradition: The Arabian World Cup, run on the same day and reserved only for purebred Arabians.6 / 247 / 248 / 249 / 2410 / 24Located in Paris’ Bois de Boulogne, just a couple of miles west of the Eiffel Tower, the Hippodrome de Longchamp is an antique track, hosting races since 1857. 11 / 2412 / 2413 / 2414 / 2415 / 2416 / 24The race takes place on a turf-covered track, not dirt or mud, and covers around 2,400 meters or 1-½ miles. (Longchamp is a flexible course with multiple loops, accommodating races anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 meters.)17 / 2418 / 2419 / 2420 / 2421 / 2422 / 2423 / 24The 2014 race saw a repeat champion for the first time in 36 years: Treve, a four-year-old filly, ridden by four-time Arc winner Thierry Jarnet, and bred by Alec Head, breeder and trainer of numerous Arc winners.24 / 24 share this story If you liked this story consider purchasing Victory Journal where it was first printed.