With a rich history, Royal Ascot sits proudly as the jewel in the crown of British horseracing. Founded by Queen Anne in 1711, it is the most celebrated meeting and possibly the best-known racecourse in the world.
Five days of unparalleled racing, high fashion, fine dining and pageantry, the Royal Meeting is renowned across the globe and creates an unforgettable experience in a unique setting. From the moment Her Majesty The Queen drives in the open-top Windsor landau up the straight mile to the stands at the start of each afternoon, Royal Ascot offers racegoers a bewitching experience.
The Royal Meeting apart, Ascot stages top-class racing throughout the year, spread over 21 days. In high summer there is QIPCO King George Diamond Day, the highlight of which is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes and, in the autumn, QIPCO Champions’ Day, a feast of top-quality racing as the flat season draws to a close. During the winter months, Ascot stages a programme of competitive National Hunt jumps racing. In 2022 Ascot will be offering record prize money of £15.64 million, of which £8.65 million will be raced for at the Royal Meeting.
Racing at Ascot is inextricably entwined with the history of the turf. The rolls of honour of its most important races contain some of the sport’s most fêted champions: Yeats, Frankel, Black Caviar, Estimate and many others. On an autumn afternoon in 1996 the jockey Frankie Dettori rode all seven winners on the card – The Magnificent Seven – a feat unlikely ever to be repeated.
In 2021, more than £454,000 was raised at Royal Ascot for the armed forces’ charities in collaboration with Concessionaires and The Betting & Gaming Council through daily collections. Five hundred pairs of tickets were donated to local residents via a ballot, one of the many annual initiatives designed to engage with and recognise the community in the racecourse.
Beyond the Royal Meeting, over £35,000 was donated last year. Distributed via the Berkshire Community Foundation, it supported 18 different charities and 5,535 individual beneficiaries across the county. In addition, 21 race titles were given to local charities throughout the year.
A new partnership saw Ascot prevent over 1,200kg of food waste in its first month by donating it to City Harvest, London’s sustainable solution to surplus food and food poverty. This meant 2,926 meals could be delivered across the capital and south-east. By donating the surplus food for redistribution, 4,760kg of greenhouse gas emissions have also been prevented by virtue of the food not being sent to landfill. A further £3,000 was donated to homeless charities.
Ascot has something for everyone: the thrill of the races, high fashion, Michelin-starred dining, live music and entertainment, against the backdrop of the splendidly equipped modern Grandstand and immaculate lawns.
There is much to look forward to in 2022, with Ascot celebrating Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.