With roots dating back to the 16th century, horse racing in England has always been a highly distinguished sport and viewing experience. However, to say that horse racing is limited to its definition as a sport is undermining its cultural traditions and historical importance.
These world-renowned events are highly celebrated in the U.K. and beyond with millions of followers and fans. This important pastime brings people from all over, and in England, high society members such as the royal family are also in attendance! Let’s run through the must-see horse racing events for enthusiasts of the sport.
The Royal Ascot meet takes place annually in June and is the country’s most prestigious events on the horse racing calendar. Known for its royal attendees and extravagantly dressed guests, the performance is set in a picturesque landscape over Britain’s gorgeous Ascot Racecourse. Celebrities also arrive to the track to watch their favorite horses in pursuit of victory. This year the race will commence on Tuesday, June 15 and conclude on Saturday, June 19.
With roots dating back to 1860, The Cheltenham Festival is one of U.K’s oldest and most notable races. The historic event takes place annually over four days, welcoming the country's biggest racing fans with style and class.
The horses compete at the Cheltenham Racecourse in Gloucestershire and its world-renowned facilities and staff pampers guests in the most eloquent way imaginable.
This year's festival will take place from Tuesday, March 16 to Friday, March 19, with fans already eagerly consulting these expert insights from the industry's strongest tipsters.
The prize money for the event is one of Britain's highest, second only to another prestigious race, The Grand National. If you ever find yourself close to Cheltenham during race season, attending the event is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Held annually at the Aintree Racecourse in Merseyside, England close to Liverpool, the Grand National is a highly entertaining horse race with dozens of jumps and obstacles. After all, the event is a Hunt horse racing performance that focuses on hurdles and a variety of difficult jumps.
These elite horses must challenge themselves immensely to succeed, showing off their athleticism to crowds of thousands. For this reason, the Grand National is a highly sought-after ticket that commonly sells out. Jam-packed audiences watch from near and far, dressed in impressive fancy outfits and the most exquisite hats.
Founded in 1780, the Epsom Derby is a gorgeous annual spectacle featuring a variety of Thoroughbred racehorses all competing for the title of the fastest performer. Known to fans as simply “The Derby,” the event takes place in June at Epsom Downs in Surrey. An average of 150,000 people attend the famous competition, and audience members are encouraged to dress the part.
That means smart fashion for both men and women. Women normally don colorful dresses and of course, intricate headwear. Men wear top hats and suits and, whether they are attending Derby Day or any race for that matter, are encouraged to shy away from ill-fitting clothes and sportswear. It’s a beautiful summer event, so if you have the chance to attend just once, you don’t want to miss it.
The Ladbrokes Trophy is one of the newest events on this list, founded in 1957. This one-day competition takes place in Newbury at the city’s racecourse and boasts a prize of £200,000. Last year, elite racehorse Cloth Clap took home first place in an overall masterful performance. This year’s event is set to kick off in late November.