Thursday August 26th 2021
Chelmsford City Racecourse opened in 2015. The first new racecourse in the country to open for almost 90 years, the last being Taunton in 1927. The design brought in new features that included a special ‘all weather track’ and champagne-fluted floodlights, which meant that racing and other events could take place all year round. Since its launch Chelmsford City has become one of UK’s busiest racecourses in the country.
Ladies Day, combining top racing with a highlight on fashion, normally takes place in June during the week of Royal Ascot. However, 2020 was cancelled due to Covid, and this year’s event was finally rescheduled to take place on Thursday the 26thof August.
With Chelmsford City being my ‘local racecourse,’ this new date was good for me, as I’m usually covering Royal Ascot in June. Ladies Days are always special, where the lady takes centre stage and dressing up is ‘de rigour’, and so it was today at Chelmsford even with strong winds and low temperatures prevailing. So smartly dressed and best hatted I arrived on time to find a stream of guests queuing for the gates to open at 11.45.
Racing began at 1.45 with seven ‘Class 4-6’ races. There were many options for dining, from the sumptuous Marquee set with tables for parties, with its superb menu, to the outside stalls of take-away food. The day also included live entertainment in the evening. That evening Peter Andre took to the stage at 6.30 with dancing till after 8pm. It was good to read in the programme that ladies were advised that “fascinators and hats were to be worn until after Last Race”.
Arriving, drink in hand, sitting on the buggy. The young lady on the left wears a ‘borrowed’ headpiece, and on the right a fascinator from John Lewis
John Lewis launched their own marquee this year, and organised the Best Dressed Competitions. ‘Scouts’ were sent out during the day to select ten finalists for their three special prizes; ‘Best Hat; Best Dressed: and the ‘Most Creative’ outfit.
Between the races the finalists for the ‘Best Dressed’ were contacted and were invited to assemble at the John Lewis marquee for the final judging.
From this line-up Emma Dillard announced the prize winners:
The Prize for The Best Hat to Lesley Hall wearing a large swirly sinamay and crinn hat from Get Ahead Hats in Latchingdon, Chelmsford.
The Prize for the Most Creative Outfit to Cassy from Chelmsford in a white feather dress with a matching felt ‘pillbox’.
The Prize for the Best Dressed to Georgina Friswell in a blue and yellow dress teamed with a blue sinamay brimmed hat from Monsoon.
The three prizewinners for 2021 selected by the John Lewis team – the official photograph!
Even with the Covid restrictions put in place this year it was a great day out!
Plans are now going ahead at Chelmsford City to develop and enlarge Ladies Day for 2022. A brand new website will be launched very soon, to give a wider source of information with in-depth reports on events. So keep in touch at www.chelmsfordcityracecourse.com
And depending on their final dates for 2022 I may see you there!