Cape Town - The punters, socialites and racing fraternity came out in their droves to open the summer social calendar at the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (LQP) at Kenilworth racecourse on Saturday.
Beauty queen Miss SA Tamaryn Green, who recently placed as runner-up in the Miss Universe competition, was one of the celebrities who made an appearance on the second day of the event.
The racing extravaganza concluded on Saturday, with this being the third year of the LQP was staged over two days with a strict 500-guest garden party reception held on Friday before the main event on Saturday, which attracted over 4000 racegoers.
LQP is internationally acknowledged as one of the best race festivals in the world and the weight-for-age mile is one of the oldest horse races in South Africa, with this year marking the 158th running.
This year’s event saw the launch of a new trackside layout where all guests had access to the track and finish line.
LQP co-ordinator Katherine Gray said the change was made to give guests the chance to see the race in full rather than just the end, as had been the case in previous editions.
“We wanted all guests to have an experience of racing, alongside the horses as they ran. In the new layout, all guests have access to the track and finish line, allowing them to be fully immersed into the excitement,” she said.
Gray said racegoers had been wearing many local designs in the spirit of what the race promotes, while many who entered some of the best-dressed competitions had created their own designs.
“Women make such an effort and over the last few years men have made an effort too, and people incorporate something that isn’t just off-the-shelf and they try to bring in their cultures as well.”
Racegoers made their way to the event throughout the afternoon in anticipation of the seventh race, which carries a purse of R1.5 million.
With its classic blue and white theme, celebrities and guests alike arrived at LQP throughout the afternoon dressed in their best interpretations of the theme.
Radio personality Liezel van der Westhuizen wore a flowing white dress with a plunging neckline, paired with white sneakers for comfort on the course and a broad-brim hat with plant patterns on the top.
Celebrities spotted in the crowd included former Proteas cricketer Jacques Kallis and chef Reuben Riffel, while former DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko was also spotted.
Former Jordan Formula One team boss and Top Gear presenter Eddie Jordan was also among those in attendance.
Most of the plants and flowers used at the event were brought in from farms in Franschhoek and replanted at the racecourse, with the carbon footprint minimised and water saving kept in mind.
Once the sun set on the racing activities the official after party got into full swing, with Major League DJs opening the party before headline act, local DJ PH, took to the stage.@WeekendArgus