The major sporting events, in addition to being the perfect opportunity to witness the best athletes who compete face to face, have different facets: they are a point of aggregation, socially, culturally and sometimes an excuse to show off the most elegant and extravagant outfits.
If you want to see a real meeting point that reunites businessmen, aristocratic families and, very often, kings and princes, historical horse races are the right place; events such as the Royal Ascot in England or the Kentucky Derby in the United States are real worldly events that cannot be missed. But how do these events on horses work, including their tradition and fashion? Here, given on this website is an overview of the best horse racing events.
Royal Ascot – Berkshire, England
The Ascot Horserace is undoubtedly the largest horse-racing event in the world that perfectly combines sport with a worldly, traditional and fashionable aspect. Suffice it to say that, since 1711, the year of its establishment, the royal family of England has opened the event, with the classic arrival in the open carriage. This is a tradition that has characterized the race for more than three hundred years, thanks also to the proximity of the Windsor summer residence.
The Queen of England and, in this case Elizabeth, is the most prominent personality of the entire event, not only for the “hierarchical” importance, but first and foremost, as regards the look: dresses in bright pastel colors (Her Majesty’s total fucsia look in 2015 is so very famous) and sculpture-hats are a must for the Queen, who annually transforms herself into a fashion icon.
The rules, as regards the dress code of the event are strict, especially for men. Men must absolutely wear the formal day suit, consisting of the classic blazer with tails, waistcoat, tie, black shoes and top hat, gray or black. The latter can only be taken off in the restaurant, in the club’s garden or in the private box and balcony: in public it must absolutely be worn.
On the stands, in the club’s gardens and among the restaurant tables, the elite of the aristocracy and world finance meet to entertain social relations and strengthen economic agreements, giving Royal Ascot a fundamental role in international relations.
Kentucky Derby – Louisville, United States
On the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean, we find the Kentucky Derby, which takes place on the first Saturday in May. At the Churchill Downs Racecourse, only three-year-old English thoroughbreds compete in a breathtaking gallop about two kilometers long; the event has much more recent origins than that of Ascot (1896) but retains the charm of tradition mixed with sport.
Although it is open to all spectators, the area called “Millionaire Row” is for the exclusive use of the most important personalities of the nobility, finance and entertainment, who, similar to Royal Ascot, show off the best outfits, complete with unique headgear and high fashion dresses. In the “Infield” instead, all the other spectators take their seats, partly trying to imitate the look of celebrities, partly abandoning themselves to traditional American clothes, such as jeans and checked shirts.
The winner, in addition to a substantial cash prize, receives a real cloak of white and pink roses (hence the nickname of the Kentucky Derby “Run for roses”), while in the stands Mint Julep (traditional refreshing alcoholic drinks made with Bourbon and mint) flow freely, among the authorities visibly amused but at the same time committed to maintaining fundamental social relationships, imposing their style in front of of the whole world.