The Vienna Turf Club (Wiener Renn-Verein), whose existence is closely linked to horse racing and the breeding of Austrian thoroughbreds in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is the oldest gentlemen‘s club in Austria. Already in 1826 a committee named Wiener Wett-Renn-Ausschuss (Viennese horseracing committee) is mentioned in the annals of the horse races.
The Vienna Turf Club with its present name “Wiener Renn-Verein” was refounded in 1932 by 27 members of the Austrian Campagne-Horse-Racing Association itself being the legal successor of the Wiener Wett-Renn-Ausschuss, which was established in 1826, following the previous management of the races under the presidency of Prince Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau. Prince Kinsky’s wish was to entrust the management of the horse races to its own organization.
The founding members of the Wiener Renn-Verein were members of the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy and of the high bourgeoisie. Famous members were, among others, Prince Kinksy, the Princes of Liechtenstein, the Princes of Windisch-Graetz, the Counts Apponyi of Nagy-Apponyi, the Counts of Schoenfeldt, Austrian entrepreneurs such as Alfred Lohner, Karl Kahane, Georg Mautner-Markhof, various ministers and presidents of the Republic of Austria, as well as high-ranking military officers. Since then, the Club also maintains a close relationship with Austrian and international diplomacy.
Today, the Wiener Renn-Verein is a private members‘ club in the inner city center. The premises of the club are located in the Palais Pallavicini, opposite the Wiener Hofburg, Imperial Palace, political centre of the monarchy and since then of the Republic of Austria, and the Spanish Riding School.