Horse Racing

July 2014

Glorious Goodwood

29.07.14 - 02.08.14
West Sussex

The beautiful Sussex racecourse hosts one of the season's best-loved social and sporting events, described by King Edward VII as 'a garden party with racing tacked on', but offering world-class sport.

Sussex's Goodwood Park estate, which first saw horse-racing in 1802 under the 3rd Duke of Richmond, is even more famous for its flat racing than as a motorsports venue - and for its chic summer fashions, comprising linen suits and Panama hats for men and classic styles for women.

Glorious Goodwood, which lasts for five days in late July, includes two of Britain's 31 Group One flat races, the Sussex Stakes and the Nassau Stakes.

The main Gordon Enclosure affords access to the Sussex Grandstand and the paddock, which includes the parade ring and winners' enclosure. There's also a restaurant serving afternoon tea and three-course meals.

The Lennox Enclosure offers great views of the horses as they gallop along the home straight; race-goers here can bring picnics, although snacks are available.

The Richmond Enclosure, which affords access to the winners' enclosure and parade ring, is reserved for members and their guests and corporate clients. It has several restaurants, including the award-winning Charlton Hunt, facing the winning post and offering panoramic vistas taking in Chichester and the Isle of Wight, and The Double Trigger, serving local seafood. There's also a champagne bar.

Debrett's top tips for a gloriously well-mannered Goodwood…

1. Respect the dress code. Glorious Goodwood is the occasion for the finest English summer fashions, so make the effort and dress appropriately.

2. If you are invited to attend a picnic, offer to make a contribution. Check with your host whether a jug of Pimm's or bowl of English strawberries is the order of the day.

3. Don't overindulge. Pace yourself and don't embarrass your companions by having too much to drink.

4. Have a flutter but moderate any excessive reactions. No whooping or gloating for winners; not swearing or tantrums for losers.

5. Remember your public manners. Queue patiently, don't push and shove and be aware of other race-goers.

6. Gentleman, respect tradition and wear a Panama. Then you're dressed for some good old-fashioned chivalry…

7. If you are in a party with people you don't know, remember your conversation skills. Keep chat light-hearted and interesting.

8. Don't forget to thank your hosts. Letters should be received promptly afterwards, and a reciprocal invitation to another seasonal event is usually well received.

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