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The Hippodrome Sopot beautifully extends over an area of 40 hectares, the site of horse races which can be watched from a beautifully restored, hundred year old pavilion, numerous festivities, open-air events and concerts. Among the artists who have performed here is Tina Turner, who sang in front of an audience of 70,000. In 1999, Pope John Paul II celebrated mass here for over 700,000 worshippers.
From 1870 the area between Sopot and Gdansk was used by the Prussian regiment of "black hussars" from Gdansk for race hunting. Starting in 1898 regular flat and obstacle horse racing has taken place. At this time stands and horse tracks were built which still exist today with few changes, although there are plans in place for complete modernisation of the area. Also, during this time horse betting was first established.
Between the first and second world war the tracks laid within the boundaries of Free Town Gdansk became famous all over Europe , in places where flat races, obstacle races, and horsemanship competitions took place. This situation had a positive effect on the town development and it was one of the major attractions, which drew people to Sopot. Sopot's tracks were favoured by horsemanship competitors because of the picturesque terrain and wonderful tracks. The area from the west forest to the east beach surrounds this picturesque terrain. This is the only place where you can stand watch the sea.
Activities were halted during the Second World War. Some local competition during German occupation did take place, but they were not international competitions. Just after the war ended the area was used under the UNRRA program as a holding space for horses. In 1947 horse racing was resumed in Sopot by the National Horse Racing Association in Warsaw , which only took place in season for 12 days. This situation lasted until 1970.
Starting from 1970 the government office responsible for hose breeding decided to expand activity and start a new competition with half breed horses from the Mazovian region (the northeastern parts of Poland ). They decided not to use English stock horses and replace them with horses from training facilities from Kidzyn, Bialy Bor and from 1980 from Sopot. The last race of this type took place in 1983. From that time the facilities in Sopot were transformed into a training center. In 1994 a new organization was established by the government with the name Hippodrome Sopot. In recent years horse racing has been resurrected and international horse jumping competition came back to Sopot.