22 Jan L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate 2017
HORSE POWER – at this year’s L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate
A number of international punters and local celebrities flew out especially to join in the success of the inaugural L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Festival, which saw South Africa’s top thoroughbreds come together as champions at Kenilworth Racecourse on 6-7 January. South Africa’s horse of the year and defending champion, Legal Eagle, ridden by Anton Marcus, thrilled punters by winning the coveted L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, proudly strutting away with the R1,5 million purse.
The Cape’s premier horse racing and social festival impressed track-side too. On the Saturday, 5 000 attendees went all out and donned their most stylish blue-and-white outfits. Among the international and local celebrities were the English royal family’s Princess Eugenie, sport stars such as Ryk Neethling, Sean Fitzpatrick, Geoff Boycott, Jacques Kallis, Huw Jones and Michael Holding, TV and radio personalities Boity Thulo, Bonnie Mbuli, Siv Ngesi, Lindiwe Suttle and Tracey Lange, the singer Matthew Gold, eminent SA designers Laduma Ngxokolo and David Tlale and former F1 racer and team owner Eddie Jordan.
As last year, adding motorized style to the days’ four- and two-legged proceedings were a selection of elite horseless carriages from the stable of the Franschhoek Motor Museum’s LQP partner, BMW Group. Among the models on show were some famous examples of the group from the FMM collection, namely the 1938 BMW 328, 1953 BMW 502 and 1994 McLaren F1 road car. Luxury Africa tourism company owner and motoring enthusiast Patrick Siebel was just one of the many guests drawn to this display in the public area. In addition, the 1928 Rolls-Royce Phantom 1, the BMW-engined 1953 Bristol 403 and the 2004 BMW 760Li Security Edition (the Nelson Mandela 46664 charity car) were put on view alongside the course together with BMW SA’s recently refurbished 1978 M1supercar and unique-to-SA 1985 333i.
Over the two days there were plenty of course-side activities including a Garden Party with a jazz band entertaining guests. In addition, there were Best Dressed competitions with spectacular prizes from Cartier, SKYY Vodka, Bobbi Brown, Society Bistro, Sports24-Hrs Taxis and L’Ormarins Wines. “The growth and success of the first L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Festival cemented its place as one of the world’s top horse racing events,“ says event co-ordinator, Katherine Gray. “We look forward to taking the festival to even greater heights in 2018“. MM