Discover more about Ascot Racecourse
The History of Ascot Racecourse
The history of Ascot Racecourse beings in the early 18th century. In 1711, Queen Anne first saw the potential for a great racecourse whilst riding near Windsor Castle. According to historians, as she rode her horse from Windsor Castle to Ascot, she remarked: ‘This would be a fine place for a race… ideal for horses to gallop at full stretch.’ At its inception in 1711, seven horses competed in a race called “Her Majesty’s Plate” on the 11th August for a grand total prize sum of seven guineas.
To preserve the racecourse, in 1813 Parliament passed an Act to ensure that the grounds would remain a public racecourse. Thus, the Ascot Authority is the authority that manages the racecourse until this day.
In 2004, Ascot Racecourse underwent a £185 million redevelopment plan funded by Allied Irish Bank and designed by Populous and Buro Happold. In 2006, the racecourse was reopened again by Queen Elizabeth, current owner of the Ascot estate.
Dress Code at Ascot Racecourse
Whilst there is not a strict dress code for all race days at Ascot Racecourse, racegoers are strongly encouraged to dress as though attending a fine, formal occasion. Ladies usually dress in smart occasion attire and opt for hats whilst gentlemen sport jackets with a collared shirt and tie.
For Royal Ascot, a firm dress code applies and varies dependant on the enclosure guests attend. The event is synonymous with style, elegance and unrivalled sophistication, and so guests are expected to uphold these values through their clothing choices.
Details on the full Royal Ascot Dress Code Guide can be found in our blog post.
More Events at Ascot Racecourse
In addition to horse racing, Ascot Racecourse is also home to numerous other events such as the Luna Cinema, a Beer Festival and a spectacular fireworks display in November.
Furthermore, Ascot Racecourse holds the Royal Ascot Cricket Club, which was founded in 1883. The club’s ground is situated in the middle of the racecourse.
Ascot United F.C., founded in 1965, is likewise based in the racecourse and is located towards the eastern side of the site. The club plays their home games there with a capacity of 1,150.
View our Ascot Racecourse event guide here
Ascot Racecourse and the Community
Ascot Racecourse proudly supports over 250 local charities, community groups and businesses by making monetary contributions or by supplying complimentary tickets for use as raffle and auction prizes.
The racecourse launched the Colts & Fillies Club in 2002 in order to make horse racing more accessible and popular with younger audiences. Currently, the club has over 18,500 members and is free to join.
Events including bulb painting are run to involve local schools in various activities. The charity Racing To School is one which supports young people’s learning and development with the aim of encouraging an interest in horse racing. The racecourse also works closely with the National Citizen Service and supports Active Communities Network.
View our guide on travelling to Ascot Racecourse here.
Book your VIP tickets and packages for Royal Ascot & QIPCO Champion’s Day here and experience the races in true style.