The Slovak Golden Helmet of Zarnovica
The Golden Helmet of Pardubice competition has been run since 1929 and has been a prestigious motorcycle event in Eastern Europe and wider since its early days, with over 70 riders from as many as 18 different countries participating pre-war, and attendances of over 120,000 post-war and 100,000 for its 1960s resurrection following the years of communist suppression. Having commenced as a grass event on the famous 2.4km(1½mile) Pardubice steeplechase course the event transferred to the cinder speedway track of a purpose-built adjacent course in 1964.
The table below, - colour-coded for ready analysis - , shows that despite many attempts by star name New Zealand World Champions Briggs and Mauger, they failed to capture a Golden Helmet. (A new unique helmet is presented every year for the winner's retention, as well as a full Jawa speedway machine.) Ole Olsen, however was successful on a record 7 occasions during the 1970s, with local hero Jiri Stancl pushing him hard through the same period, - only once did these two not take the trophy over a 13 year period ! (Note also Stancl's record in the national Czech championships over this period, - 12 speedway and 6 Long Track title wins ! ) In more recent years Australia has provided the winner 8 times through Ryan Sullivan (2x), Leigh Adams (4x), and Jason Crump (2x). above right : 1935 programme, GH #.7
At the gate for the off:- 1947, 1968, 2008 Track action:- 1947, 1968 (Briggo), 2008
Jiri Stancl & his 5 GHs Igor Plechanov, GHs #.16 & #.18
Run in conjunction with the Golden Helmet as a junior event on the opening day, the Golden Ribbon contest was initiated in 1975 and also gives juniors a qualification route to the senior competition.
The Golden Helmet Of Zarnovica,