Just as the world begins to recover from ringing in 2017, South Africa is holding its largest horse racing festival, the 156th L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (LQP), at Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town, on January 6th and 7th (Friday and Saturday). Due to the festival’s development and increasing popularity with both the local and international guests and personalities in recent years, this race will span across two days with an unmatched card of 18 races. L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate will be the first racing event to become a multi-day event in South Africa. It is also poised to be the largest edition of this race to date. LQP is the highlight of Cape Town’s social calendar and is South Africa’s finest event to enjoy exquisite food, wine, and entertainment.
The L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate two-day high profile racing event, sponsored by Anthonij Rupert Wyne, Franschhoek Motor Museum, and Drakenstein Stud Farm since 2005, is heavily steeped in tradition and prestige. It is the oldest horse racing event with global significance in South Africa.
The racing event was first held in 1861 in honor of Queen Victoria. In 1861, the prize was 500 sovereign gold coins and a silver plate that had been donated by Queen Victoria. To date, the LQP has witnessed 154 champions. After her death, the reigns of Edward VII and George VI came to follow, and the race became the King’s Plate during those years.
Once Queen Elizabeth II rose to the throne, the race returned to its original name in 1953. Even in the present day, Queen Elizabeth maintains a keen interest in the race and its outcome. Every year, she is represented by the British High Commissioner to South Africa, Dame Nicola Brewer.
The 156th L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate has included an additional day in 2017 to the line-up of the event which will take place on Friday and Saturday (January 6th-7th) at Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town. It is poised to be a thrilling day of horse racing as the 18 races will place South Africa’s world-class thoroughbreds against one another as they all pursue the highly coveted trophy and the R1 million purse on Saturday.
Off the track, the race’s elegance will be on display by spectators and guests in the traditional theme colors of blue and white while they mingle among some of South Africa’s well-known personalities and enjoy the high-quality music, entertainment, and culinary samplings in numerous venues including the Stud Club and Style Lounge. On Friday, the Luncheon and Garden Party will also be open for all ladies to attend until the last race that day has finished.
This event was listed by The Telegraph, in the United Kingdom in 2014, as one of the top five days of horse racing in the world. L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate is ranked alongside other world class races including the Prix de I’Arc de Triomphe (Paris), the Breeder’s Cup (California), Melbourne Cup (Australia), and the Dubai World Cup (Dubai).
There is a dress code that must be followed for this first-class event. If a guest is found to be in noncompliance with the dress code, they may be asked to leave the premises. They will also be ineligible for the Best Dressed competition that is held every year at the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate racing event. Both ladies and gentlemen are encouraged to dress elegantly and smartly in the colors of blue and white for the occasion. Women should dress smartly and are invited to wear a hat or fascinator comb or clip. Jeans, shorts, or dressy attire are not permitted.
Gentlemen are required to wear jackets and ties, cravats or a professional, open neck shirt with trousers. Linen suits and a waist coast with a Panama may also be worn. Similarly, to the ladies, jeans, shorts, sleeveless shirts, open shoes, or fancy attire are not permitted.
Best Dressed and Best Hat
As one of the highest profile and prestigiously stylish events on the Cape Town’s social event calendar, all guests are required to comply with the blue and white dress code. Only ladies and gentlemen who are appropriately dressed will be eligible to participate in the L’Ormarins Best Dressed and Best Hat competition.
The highly sought-after prize for the Best Dressed Lady is a trip for two to London, United Kingdom. The winner and a partner will enjoy a lavish five-night stay at a hotel during the British summer, return flights from South Africa to London, and also two exclusive tickets to attend the L’Ormarins Luncheon at Glorious Goodwood in the summer of 2017. The winner of the Best Dressed Lady competition will also be part of the judging of the Best Dressed competition in 2018.
L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate racing event is restricted to individuals 18 years old and up due to the nature of the event.
Food and Beverages
A variety of food and beverages, such as culinary samplers and wine, will be for sale during the event.
There will be parking available at the in-field of Kenilworth Racecourse off Wetton Road for all guests that purchased event tickets before the event. All guests are encouraged to use the taxi services which will be available throughout the event.
As the races conclude for the day, the entertainment will begin at the Style Lounge as the official after party kicks off with the help of local DJ’s.
About The Sponsors
DRAKENSTEIN STUD FARM
Drakenstein Stud Farm is built upon the wine farm estate, L’Ormarins, on the lower slopes of the Groot Drakenstein mountain range. Huguenot Jean Roi fled France in 1688 and settled in the Franschhoek Valley where he established the L’Ormarins wine farm. In the present day, this is the home of Drakenstein Stud Farm where their paddocks and the wine estate’s vineyards stand side by side. The wine estate’s vines expand across the upper slopes, and the horses occupy the lower slopes. Drakenstein Stud currently stands seven of the most elite stallions at stud in South Africa: Philanthropist, Trippi, What a Winter, Legislate, Duke of Marmalade, Kingsbarns, and Futura.
FRANSCHHOEK MOTOR MUSEUM
Another sponsor for the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate is Franschhoek Motor Museum. Franschhoek Motor Museum offers visitors a unique opportunity to review more than 100 years of motor history with its one of a kind and exciting collection of vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and memorabilia. Across all of Southern Africa, this museum is the only place that can adequately cover the evolution and history of the automobile.
ANTHONIJ RUPERT WYNE
Anthonij Rupert Wyne was founded on the wine farm, L’Ormarins, in Franschhoek valley. The late Anthonij Rupert formerly owned it. After he passed away in 2001, the farm was taken over by his brother, Johann Rupert, in 2003. They then named the brand after Anthonij Rupert. Johann Rupert built the world class winemaking facility which catapulted the farm into a highly prestigious wine estate. This development led to the beginnings of the expansive enterprise that L’Ormarins is today.
The brand consists of an impressive list of farms that represent the elite in grape producing locations. This portfolio consists of L’Ormarins (Franschhoek), Rooderust (Darling), Riebeeksriver (Swartland), and Altima (Elandskloof). Each location offers optimal varieties of growing conditions which allow Anthonij Rupert Wyne to comply with the requirements of their various brands as well as offer some of the finest wines.