The Qatar Goodwood Festival is back this July with five days of unforgettable horse racing and celebration.
Taking place from Tuesday 26 until Saturday 30 July, Qatar Goodwood Festival 2016 will showcase British horse racing at its finest alongside an abundance of food, champagne and strawberries. With over 200 years of history and experience, Goodwood Racecourse is the ultimate destination for racing and entertainment. Nestled amongst 12,000 acres of idyllic countryside, this beautiful course provides the perfect backdrop to a unique and classically British affair.
2016 will mark the second year of Qatari investment into the iconic Festival, formerly known as ‘Glorious Goodwood’. This five-day sports entertainment extravaganza will showcase the best of international horse racing including the Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes, which will be run for prize money of ￡1 million, making it the richest and one of the most significant mile races in the horse racing calendar.
Whether you are a horse racing enthusiast or simply looking for a glorious day out, the Qatar Goodwood Festival caters for all as one of the social pinnacles of the British summer season. Notorious for being a stylish and sophisticated occasion, Goodwood’s guests are invited to embrace fashion in a relaxed atmosphere alongside the excitement of world-class racing. From flowing summery dresses and classic racing finery for the ladies, to panama hats and linen suits for the gentlemen, cool sophistication is definitely Goodwood’s distinctive style.
Qatari investment keeping Goodwood glorious
As 2016 marks the second year of Qatar’s sponsorship, the benefits of the investment will be seen in areas other than the horse racing, with wonderful infrastructural changes taking place. Improvements include the impressive new Owner’s and Trainer’s restaurant, where connections can celebrate their horse’s success. Guests will also be able to enjoy a transformed Sussex Grandstand; improved betting facilities allow for a ‘flutter’ and winnings can be spent in the new Sussex Bar and Canteen, which will provide much more room for guests to drink and socialise in a comfortable setting.
Lord March, owner of the Goodwood Estate said; “The Qatar Goodwood Festival is now in its second year and has been wonderful for the Racecourse. Qatar completely understands the significance of our rich history and totally gets what Goodwood means to the English summer season. To be racing at Goodwood and know you are seeing the best horses competing for the highest prizes adds hugely to the excitement and atmosphere of the festival – it’s all about being in the presence of the world’s best. It’s not only a very positive thing for Goodwood but also for the sport as a whole. This support from Qatar has raised the racing game in this country.”
Hats off to Leigh Johnson
In true English style, a spectacular show of hats always takes the spotlight at this glamorous horse racing event and this year is no exception, as Laylaleigh has been chosen as Goodwood’s preferred milliner. Laylaleigh will create a unique Goodwood capsule collection inspired by and named after the historical ‘Ladies of Goodwood’. This Goodwood collection of millinery will incorporate a special range of styles that represent the likes of Lady Charlotte, Lady Emily, Amy Ricardo and Hilda, Duchess of Richmond.
Ladies take centre stage
Traditionally the most glamorous day, Ladies’ day combines sporting excellence with fashion in a unique way with the Magnolia Cup – a race in which high-profile ladies compete for the benefit of charity. The Magnolia Cup has raised over ￡1million for a number of charities in the six years since it began, with Qatar Goodwood Festival 2016’s chosen charities being World Vision & Best Beginnings.
Each year a new selection of talented amateur riders competes, wearing bespoke silks created by renowned fashion designers – who in the past have included the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Frost French and Beulah. The 2014 racing title was won by supermodel and former Ladies’ Day ambassador Edie Campbell and this year the ever-popular Magnolia Cup charity race returns with a new line-up of prominent designers and riders. Those currently in training for the race include the Creative Director of Harvey Nichols, Shadi Haliwell, Capital Radio presenter and model Lilah Parsons and Bank of England COO Charlotte Hogg.
Rhubarb at the races
Goodwood is thrilled to welcome rhubarb as their official catering partner in 2016 and as such, they are prepared to deliver the finest bespoke dining to this year’s Qatar Goodwood Festival. Food enthusiasts will be able to revel in English-inspired culinary delights created by rhubarb using fresh produce from Goodwood’s very own organic farm. In addition, this partnership has resulted in a spectacular refurbishment of the Racecourse restaurants in a bid to completely transform the Estate’s catering operations.