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Friday, 20 June 2008

Royal Ascot-the one racing date I won't forget.


I cannot and will not let another year pass without mentioning a great British tradition: Royal Ascot.  
I missed Ladies' Day yesterday and do not plan on missing the big day tomorrow.
Founded by Queen Anne in 1711, Royal Ascot is 5 days of great horse racing.

Dreams of going to Ascot have been in my mind since I can remember. Even as a wee girl the smell of the scones and the frivolity of wearing extra nice dresses as of course the sight and sound stunning thoroughbreds zoom past totaly mesmerized me... 

The closest I got to this dream was to have seen youngsters training for the event very early one morning in Newmarket...an unforgetable visit I must add.

Well, I watched two races today - the Albany Stakes (six furlong race won by a 2 year old Irish filly Cuis Ghaire) and the King Edward VII - 1&1/2 mile  race won by Franke Detori (his 40th Ascot win) on the stunning Campanologist. 
They are sooooo beautifullllllllll (I'm referring to the horses of course ... the hats and the chaps are not bad but the equines are way superior.)

Why is it that of the 60 established racecourses in Great Britain and the 2 in Northern Ireland Royal Ascot is the most viewed and visited?  
Fashion and style, glamour and tradition can only be a part of it .
The horses, the quality of the horses has to be and remain the main reason.
306.00 visitors agree with me and go to Royal Ascot to have a flutter on the horses ( a milestone was reached in 2006 with 1/2 million visitors).  
Maybe the 3.5 million Pounds Sterling in  prize money (making it the most valuable race meeting in Europe) also has a role to play. 

These impressive figures also mean that once a year, the hat manufacturers become the happiest hatters and milliners, selling there wildest creations at the wildest prices.  
Champagne is happily sipped (185.000 bottles consumed in 5 days) with a nibble on a strawberry (5 tones consumed) wine is more or less just looked at with only 15.000 bottles consumed.
11.000 lobsters and 100.00 scones are savoured.

Over the years, it has not only grown in tradition and excellence but has also moved into the 21 century with style, aplomb and as fast as the horses race.  There is a Royal Ascot website with a great deal more than racing info and results, there is a blog, a magazine, a fashion show and next year there will the "Face of Ascot 2009"...  All these elements allow everyone to witness and understand just how spectacular Royal Ascot is and will remain for quite a while. 


SO where does this fantastic race meeting fit into my art world?
How does Royal Ascot affect my art?
Quite simply, when watching the races, I am reliving my childhood dream. I remember senses and emotions that help keep my thoughts young.
A child can pin point the simplicity of beauty so well and this clarity of vision is crucial in keeping ones work honest and true...

Who knows how my next action equine drawing will end up, especially  if I back a winner tomorrow!


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