Two Berkhamsted businesses, Solario Racing and Oliver Myles Events teamed up to give their clients a ‘Royal Ascot At Home’ experience and raised money for local charities.
Racing resumed in Britain on 1 June but racehorse owners have not been able to go, due to the current social distance protocols. So, Simon Double, who runs Solario Racing, a racehorse syndication and racecourse hospitality company, decided to do the next best thing – host a Royal Ascot from home and he organised two events with Melanie Langley, who runs Oliver Myles Events.
On the opening day of the meeting, Tuesday and Ladies’ Day on Thursday, there were tipster competitions, interviews with a young up-and-coming jockey, Sophie Ralston and even a Best Hat competition, judged by award-winning Richmond-based milliner, Mary Spiteri, all made possible by Zoom.
‘Owners and local businesses really entered into the spirit of it,’ said Double, who also runs the Berkhamsted Chamber of Commerce networking events. ‘Most people dressed up and we even had a full top hat and tails! Young Sophie Ralston took time out from riding horses at Dean Ivory’s racing stables in Radlett, to do an interview and talk about Ascot and horses to follow for the season.’
Milliner, Mary Spiteri, who runs her Titfertat shop in Richmond, Surrey judged the Best Hat and awarded the bottle of champagne to Jane O’Gorman (pictured), a director at local recruitment company, Ten2Two.
Melanie Langley, whose events company, has not surprisingly been hit by the pandemic said, ‘It was lovely to see people on Zoom all dressed up and drinking champagne at 10 in the morning! On the Thursday, we had a quiz too, so there was something for everyone and Simon managed to give our clients some winning tips too!’
As well as celebrating Frankie Dettori’s Gold Cup win on Stradivarius on Thursday, Solario Racing and Oliver Myles Events helped raise just under £500 for the local homeless charity DENS and The Hospice Of St Francis.
DENS Corporate Fundraiser, Fran Martin said, ‘On behalf of everyone at DENS, I am writing to thank you very much indeed for choosing DENS to be a beneficiary at your fabulous Royal Ascot event this week.
‘Your kind donation of £300 could pay for over 15 x 3-day family food parcels – so thank you very much.’