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Ascot Races

Ascot Races

History of Royal Ascot

What is it that makes the Royal Ascot so amazing and fascinating? Well, it has a long history that dates back more than 300 years ago, and that alone makes it an interesting tale.

Royal Ascot

Ascot is a world famous racecourse near Ascot, England, and it`s only called the Royal Ascot when the Queen (or king at the time) attends in June. The story of Ascot starts in 1711 when Queen Anne pursued her interests in horse racing.

The first race ever held in Ascot was called Her Majesty`s Plate and was held that same year that she decided to create the racecourse. For 100 guineas (approximately 105 in today`s money) any horse over the age of six could enter the race.

At the time of the first race, the horses that were entered were primarily English Hunters, which is interesting and different to today`s typical racing breed the thoroughbred.

William Lowen designed the Ascot racecourse but the first permanent building wasn`t built until 1794, but unfortunately Queen Anne could not bear witness as she died just a few years after sharing her idea of the racecourse.

In 1813, Parliament passed an act that ensured the racecourse would always be public property, so from then on racing at Ascot was totally secure. The course is on royal property, but because of this act will always remain to the public. However, this does mean that Ascot and the royals will always be integrally linked.

Royal Ascot in the Early 1920s

Since Queen Anne implemented the idea of Ascot Racecourse royals have always attended the event, but it wasn`t until 1825 when King Gorge IV held the first formal procession. This entailed the ruling monarch and the royal family arriving at the racecourse in a horse-drawn carriage as the Royal Standard is raised. This is a practice still continued today.

Ging George VI at Royal Ascot 1948

Today, Ascot holds several very high-profile races in the world of horseracing, such as the Group One King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, but Royal Ascot will always be and always has been the most well-attended and most enduring meeting held at the course.

Ascot Racecourse and Royal Ascot have such a rich history and it`s awesome to see something preserved so well over the course of so many hundreds of years, having prevailed through wars, economic hardships and ever changing monarchs. Hopefully we`ll see the Royal Ascot last another 300 years.

Royal Ascot 2016