Sunday, 23 June 2013

Royal Ascot 2013.

Yesterday I went to Royal Ascot with some friends. Sadly I couldn't go during the week this year as I couldn't get the time off work (welcome to the real world eh), but others have always told me that Saturday is the best day to go anyway due to there being more people there. Sadly the day was marked with sadness when we witnessed Thomas Chippendale collapse and die in front of us after winning the Hardwicke Stakes, but we still had a lovely time.

Last year I wore black and cream, so this year I wanted something slightly more summery and with a tinsy bit of colour in it. The Royal Enclosure as usual are really strict on the dress code, the dress must be knee length or below the knee, and it must have thick straps. Naturally I couldn't wear any of the dresses I've previously worn, so I went shopping and saw this beauty in Jaeger. After trying it on I just had to have it. I love the fit and the style, I've always wanted a 50's style dress and finally I have one! The capped sleeves are so cute, I love the pattern and colours of blush pink, cream and black, and I love how it's fitted at the waist then flares out over my hips. I felt a tinsy bit like Marilyn Monroe.

Dress: Jaeger
Hat: Accessorize (past season)

We got to the racecourse and parked up for our picnic! There was a huge group of us there; we sipped on champagne, tucked into mini eggs, camembert and bread, tomato and mozzarella, homemade sausage rolls, and all sorts of other picnic goodies, before opening up the cup cakes and dancing in the rain when it arrived! 

Before we new it it was 1:50pm and we only had ten minutes to get into the enclosure, through the enclosure, out the other side, race up the stairs, through the grandstand, down the stairs, and to the best spot to see the Queen arrive in her carriage. Phewf, we made it.

After seeing Liz we thought we ought to make some bets and get settled for the first race at 3:05pm, the Hardwicke Stakes. All was going well, we were sat on the edge of our seats cheering on our horses as they raced around the racetrack. They finished and an almighty roar went up as Thomas Chippendale crossed the finish line, securing the win and his late trainer Sir Henry Cecil's legacy. 

We screamed and shouted as Sheena realized she'd bet on him, and then tragedy struck. All of a sudden we saw Thomas Chippendale collapse in front of our very eyes, people rushed onto the racetrack and black screens were brought on and placed around him as a horse ambulance raced up the track to the scene. The jockey Johnny Murtagh walked away with his head down, as journalists rushed along beside him with a camera and mic trying to get him to speak. 

The crowd murmured, Sheena, Arabella, and I looked at each other with nervous glances and teary eyes, and everyone was out of their seats standing trying to see what was going on. No one knew what had happened and we were terrified we'd hear the shot of a gun. They loaded him into the ambulance, and it was only later that we found out he had died of a heart attack, right in front of us.

I never thought I could get so emotional over a horse, but just seeing it all happen in front of me put a bit of a dampener on the rest of the day. I think it's the realization of how dangerous a sport it actually is for these horses, as despite the fact that they love to run, maybe sometimes they're just pushed too hard.

Now I've heard so much about the Bird Cage, we went to check it out to see what all the fuss was about.

It was just a bar.

After drinking too much pimms and champagne, we went to see the horses so we could decide which ones to place bets on. I chose mine on the fact it was walking around with its tongue sticking out...needless to say I lost.

It was mighty cold with showers throughout the day (hence why my lovely blow-dried hair from the first photo got destroyed by the time we had our picnic) and with no jacket or cardigan, by the end of the day I was icy cold!

Thankfully it was the end and time to leave, so I hopped in my car, turned the heating to full, and drove down the road to Sandhurst for a the Sandhurst Charity Ball!

Did you go to Ascot this year? What did you wear?



  1. Looks like you had a great day - lovely photo's :)


  2. Lovely pictures! Glad you had a lovely day and saw the Queen! Very sad about the horse though, it makes me so sad when that happens. All too common sadly :(

    We went to Royal Ascot last year and had a lovely day. I'm going to the Brighton Races in August which will make up for missing it this year a little bit.

    Caroline x
    Cocktails and Caroline

    1. Thank you! I know, so sad :(

      Ah, I've never been to the Brighton Races, are they worth going to?

      C x

  3. Yes we went during the week and on Saturday. Personally we won't attend on Saturday again as far too many people in the enclosure (this year in particular) and the tone had clearly dropped probably due to the high volume of guests on Saturday. I'm a male so for me bespoke morning dress and a vintage silk topper properly fitted. Anything less is not proper form.

    1. Hi Brian,

      No, I don't think I'm going to go on a Saturday again either, I much preferred it during the week when it was quieter.

      And I completely agree, we saw so many women walking around the enclosure with dresses about 4 inches above the knee, not to mention two men walking around in SUITS! We were fuming, but the stewards on the entrances did absolutely nothing.

      C x

  4. What a lovely day out, it's so nice to have an occasion to get all dressed up for :)
    That's so so sad about the horse, and is a reminder that all sports come at a cost.
    I love your reason for choosing your horse, he may not be a winner- but I reckon he's enjoying life.
    x x x

    {The Lobster & Me}

    1. Yes, I do love an occasion to get all dressed up for! :)

      I know, still upset about it :(

      Hehe, he was definitely enjoying life, he looked a bit silly and fun-loving which I loved!

      C x


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