Royal ascot

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The Royal Meeting: Tuesday 14th - Saturday 18th June, 2011
Royal Ascot is the world's most famous race meeting and is steeped in history that dates back to 1711. Always a superb sporting and social occasion, combining tradition and pageantry with unrivalled horse racing action, it promises to be bigger and better than ever before. With no less than fifteen group races and over £3 million prizemoney on offer over the five days, the quality of the horse racing remains simply outstanding. This magnificent event is steeped in centuries of history, tradition and style, for which it is still renowned for today. The action on the track is matched only by the fashions off it with a spectacular array of colourful outfits and hats on display, ranging from catwalk chic to interesting and obscure.Always a superb sporting and social occasion Royal Ascot is much more than just a race meeting. It represents the epitome of prestige, luxury and style, all in the perfect setting of the beautiful Berkshire countryside.
The Silver Ring Enclosure:
The Silver Ring Enclosure provides a great relaxed and informal environment, offering a good range of facilities and the chance to enjoy all of theexcitement that Royal Ascot has to offer. 2000 free seats are available on a first come, first served basis. Alternatively you can stand by the rails to cheer on your horse as they sweep round the bend into the final straight. There is a massive lawned area with a variety of places to eat, drink, and bet and be able to soak up the wonderful experience. Big screen TV's bring you full live coverageof all of the racing action, although you cannot access the Parade Ring or main Grandstand. There is also live music entertainment. There are no formal dress restrictions in the Silver Ring although we do encourage race-goers to make the most of the day and come in smart casual attire.
Royal Ascot History:
Ascot Racecourse and the Royal Meeting are steeped in almost three centuries of tradition,heritage and prestige. It was Queen Anne who first saw the potential for a racecourse at Ascot, which in those days was called East Cote. Whilst out riding in 1711, she came upon an area of open heath, not far from Windsor Castle, that looked an ideal place for horses to gallop at full stretch. The first race meeting ever held at Ascot took place on Saturday 11 August 1711. Her Majesty's Plate,worth 100 guineas and open to any horse, mare or gelding over the age of six, was the inaugural event. Each horse was required to carry a weight of 12st and seven runners took part. This contest bore little resemblance to racing seen at Ascot today. The seven horses were all English Hunters, quite different to the speedy thoroughbreds that race on the flat now. The race consisted of three separateheats which were four miles long (imagine, one heat was about the length of the Grand National course!), so the winner would have been a horse with tremendous stamina. Sadly, there is no record of the winner of the first plate.
The racecourse was laid out by William Lowen, who was assisted by a team of helpers, William Erlybrown, a carpenter, Benjamin Cluchett, a painter, and John Grape, whoprepared the paperwork for racing. The first permanent building was erected in about 1794 by George Slingsby, a Windsor builder. It held 1,650 people and was used until 1838. In 1813, Parliament passed an Act of Enclosure. This Act ensured that Ascot Heath, although the property of the Crown, would be kept and used as a racecourse for the public in the future. Racing at Ascot was now secure. Theprecise origin of the Royal Meeting is unclear, it was an event that evolved perhaps, rather than was introduced at a specific time. Arguably, the meeting as we know it today started to take shape with the introduction of the Gold Cup in 1807. Gold Cup day remains the feature race of the third day of Royal Ascot and is traditionally the busiest day of the week. It is colloquially known as 'Ladies'...