Most decadent horse racing events across the globe
Horse racing events have long drawn attention from the rich and famous and some of the larger festivals bring in plenty of A-list celebrities – even royalty in some cases. From Dubai to Japan and Paris, some of the most beautiful and luxurious destinations in the world host horse racing events, making the experience even more exhilarating and memorable. The following list marks key horse racing events in the sporting calendar that shouldn’t be missed.
The Royal Ascot is the most formal and sophisticated horse racing event in the world, hosted in effect by the Royal Family who arrive in horse-drawn carriages on each day of the five-day event. The famous spectators make for a great deal of celebrity spotting from visitors and the media alike, and the dress code is incredibly formal, from morning suits with a top hat for the men and dresses accompanied by elaborate headwear for women. The prize money for this event is £6.5 million across the whole event and around 300,000 people visit each year to attend this extravagant sporting occasion.
The Kentucky Derby is one of the most well-known sporting events, held annually in May in Louisville, Kentucky. The prize money for this luxurious event is $2 million, one of the largest purses in the USA. The Derby is one of the major standalone betting events with companies like Timeform seeing many bets come through, and more than 150,000 visitors make their way to Churchill Downs each year to watch what has become known as “the greatest two minutes in sports”, due to the short 1.25-mile track. There’s a rich tradition at the Derby, with the winning horse draped in a garland of hundreds of roses.
Pegasus World Cup (pictured at the very top of the article)
The Pegasus World Cup is one of the more recent horse racing events, starting in January 2017, but it’s also the richest. The purse for this flat race event is a staggering $16 million. The Pegasus Cup is for thoroughbred horses who need to be a minimum of 4 years old to qualify for the prestigious race. This event, held at Gulfstream Park in Florida, is all about luxury, despite the race being relatively short at just 1.125 miles long. It has it all – A-list attendees, fine bars and restaurants, and casino options to enhance the gambling experience, topped off with a 110-foot Pegasus statue at the entrance of the park.
Dubai World Cup
Set in the City of Gold, the Dubai World Cup is every bit as decadent as you’d expect from a destination renowned for glamour, towering skyscrapers and wealthy indulgence. The horse racing event more than matches the setting, with an astonishing purse of $10 million for the winning thoroughbred and incredible surroundings in the form of the Meydan Racecourse, sponsored by Emirates Airline. This racecourse has seating for over 60,000 people and spans over a mile in length, providing the perfect backdrop for a sporting event that’s packed with exciting races, luxury hospitality and star-studded crowds.