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Josef Váňa

Josef Váňa
Occupation jockey
horse breeder
Birthplace Zlín
Birth date 20 October 1952
Major racing wins, honours & awards
Major racing wins
Velká pardubická steeplechase (1987)
Velká pardubická steeplechase (1988)
Velká pardubická steeplechase (1989)
Velká pardubická steeplechase (1991)
Velká pardubická steeplechase (1997)
Velká pardubická steeplechase (2009)
Significant horses

Josef Váňa (born 20 October 1952 in Zlín) is a Czech steeplechase jockey, horse breeder and trainer. As the six-time winner of the Velká pardubická steeplechase he is considered one of the greatest personalities of the Czech horse racing sport.[1]


Born in Zlín, Váňa spent his childhood is Slopné. He began his career as a horse breeder and keeper in Tlumačov.[2] Later he moved to Hrubý Jeseník, where he worked as a construction worker at the Praděd TV tower and administrator of a ski center. He attended his first horse race in 1979 in Boskovice with a mare Kalina. It was also the first win of his career.[2] At the age of 28 he resumed his horse racing activities in Czechoslovakia and Germany and soon after that, in 1985, he attended his first Velká pardubická steeplechase with Paramon. He finished second.[3]

Váňa won his first Velká pardubická steeplechase in 1987, on a legendary Czech racehorse Železník.[4] He managed to finish the race in 9 minutes 56.13 sec. and became the first who finished the race inside 10 minutes.[5] Váňa together with Železník won Velká pardubická also in 1988, 1989, 1991. In 1997 he achieved his fifth victory on Vronsky and the sixth triumph at Velká pardubická he achieved on Tiumen in 2009.[1] He was 56.[6][7] Next to his six wins in the saddle, he won Velká pardubická seven times as a trainer.[8]

According to the statistics of the Czech Jockey Club, Váňa attended 631 races with 183 wins.[9] During his career, he suffered several serious injuries. According to his own words, he "broke almost every bone in his body".[9] The most serious injury he suffered in June 1994 in German Iffezheim, when he had fallen on the first fence. He managed to overcome the clinical death and two months after it he attended the next race.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Willoughby, Ian (12 October 2009). "Legendary jockey Josef Váňa wins Velká pardubická for record sixth time". Radio Prague. http://www.radio.cz/en/article/121115. Retrieved 13 October 2009. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Šestapadesátiletý Váňa triumfoval s Tiumenem na Velké pardubické" (in Czech). Sport.cz. 11 October 2009. http://m.sport.cz/articleDetails?sznu=sfk5MqOvjXcUh3RX&aId=157727&sId=1. Retrieved 13 October 2009. 
  3. Znamenáčková, Kristýna. "Rohovor s pětinásobným vítězem Velké pardubické - Josefem Váňou". Osobnosti.cz (originally Svět koní no. 01/06). http://www.osobnosti.cz/josef-vana.php. Retrieved 13 October 2009. 
  4. "History of the Velká pardubická". Česká pojišťovna. http://www.vpcp.cz/en/historie.php. Retrieved 13 October 2009. 
  5. "Železník, kůň století za babku" (in Czech). Magazín.cz. http://www.magazin.cz/lifestyle/2029-zeleznik-kun-stoleti-za-babku. Retrieved 13 October 2009. 
  6. Bouc, František (14 October 2009). "First place for 56-year-old jockey". The Prague Post. http://www.praguepost.com/sports/2496-first-place-for-56-year-old-jockey.html. Retrieved 18 October 2009. 
  7. Cáp, Martin (10 October 2009). "Josef Váňa píše sportovní dějiny. V 56 letech vyhrál pošesté Velkou pardubickou" (in Czech). iHNed.cz. http://sport.ihned.cz/c1-38602420-josef-vana-pise-sportovni-dejiny-v-56-letech-vyhral-poseste-velkou-pardubickou. Retrieved 18 October 2009. 
  8. "Velká pardubická OBRAZEM: Taxisův příkop, Kamenná zeď a šťastný Váňa" (in Czech). iDnes.cz. 11 October 2009. http://sport.idnes.cz/velka-pardubicka-obrazem-taxisuv-prikop-kamenna-zed-a-stastny-vana-1ff-/sporty.asp?c=A091011_180301_sporty_ot. Retrieved 18 October 2009. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Prachař, František (11 October 2009). "VIDEO: Šestapadesátiletý Váňa triumfoval s Tiumenem na Velké pardubické" (in Czech). Sport.cz. http://www.sport.cz/ostatni/ostatni/157727-video-sestapadesatilety-vana-triumfoval-s-tiumenem-na-velke-pardubicke.html. Retrieved 18 October 2009. 

External links


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