There’s quite a lot going on in this post, so please, stick with me here.
First…an awfully BIG day in horse racing today! Just in case you didn’t know.
But more likely than not, you’re one of the 15 million + people across the planet who’ll be casting an eye to Belmont Park to see if indeed “California Chrome” fulfils expectations and becomes the first colt since 1978 to capture “The Triple Crown”
And now-full disclosure right up front. I know absolutely nothing about horse racing or horses so please play along if I use any incorrect terminology. This is just entertainment folks. I’m not going to pretend I know an Arabian from a Lusitano ( if they are the same breed, don’t even tell me) I simply felt compelled to write this post today because I’m a sucker for whatever’s in the zeitgeist as much as the next guy.
1) California Chrome’s the name on everyone’s lips right now (did you know his most ardent fans are called “Chromies” and cover themselves in tinfoil? ya they do!)
2) It’s The Year of the Horse in Chinese Astrology, which I’ve been meaning to post about since, like, January.
and 3) it’s been almost 17 months since I attended my very first big horse racing event, which I also intended to write about and never did.
Step away from the limelight for just a second Mr. California Chrome (It’s going to be ALL about you very shortly!) because this is really about my day at the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe in Paris (which I will refer to as the “Arc” going foreword)
The “Arc” is Europe’s most prestigious horse race and the 3rd richest turf race in the world after the Melbourne and Japan Cups. It runs at the Longchamp racecourse in Paris, having made its debut in 1920.
If you’re wondering why I have such a bird’s eye view of all the festivities in these photos, it’s because I attended the race with my friend Bo Derek who is invited each year in her position as the Commissioner of the California Horse Racing Board.
Plus, you know, she’s Bo
But holy macaroni that girl knows a lot about horses.
I totally beat her on fashion knowledge though. It’s not even a fair competition actually.
It was exciting just to see all the statuesque horses being led into the inner circle.
Here’s a really pretty, uh, brown horse, with a super trendy do.
And here’s Bo being interviewed up on the monitors at the track.
The weather was a typical Autumn in Paris combo of sunny, cloudy, rainy but thankfully not cold.
We got our hair blown out to maximum-climate-combat mode and brought umbrellas.
There was a luncheon, with tables set in brightly coloured hues for jockey silks.
This British lady at our table was fun for more reasons than just the obvious.
But make no mistake, for some, this was very serious business.
Quite frankly posting this photo of me from behind just because I maintained a damn good hair day despite the rain.
Even if I do say so myself.
But enough about me
Bo congratulates the winning jockey.
They were all so cute.
Many were incredibly young
very, very determined…
One can only imagine the focus and the pressure
riding to win, keeping horse and rider safe, trying to please so many people…
A happy, muddy face after the race (sincere apologies for not knowing their names)
I already mentioned they were cute, right?
and not too shy about having their photos taken.
But I have to admit that as I’m not a horse racing aficionado, my favourite part of the Arc was definitely the people watching
Can you blame me?!
It was fabulous. Check out the sky high alligator stilettos and custom coloured Birkin.
Dapper with a capital “D”
There were many chic ladies & gentlemen in attendance
This was definitely not their first horserace.
Attire totally ran the gamut
Everyone seemed to be having the best time-at least early on.
Though no doubt there were some sorry souls at day’s end.
After all, everyone can’t be a winner, no matter what they teach in school these days.
Bo with her friend Shawn Dugan, who was so funny and knows everything there is to know about race horses.
Another adorable gent
And this guy, straight from central casting.
What did I wear? Oh-thanks for asking!
A vintage Gianfranco Ferre navy wool riding skirt & jacket with detachable, layered, lace & silk taffeta peplum. My favourite rubber- soled Prada boots turned out to be the perfect choice for the damp weather and walking in the grass.
Note; hair has only slightly increased in volume despite the day being over.
(PS. I think that guy lost his bet)
A beauty in the stables
Did I place a bet? No-it’s too long a story involving Lord Byron, a hotel in Portugal, a premonition and French intimidation.
But I think we can say that as long as you don’t lose money at the races you come away a winner, n’est ce pas?
Here I’m with the actual winner; French jockey Olivier Peslier.
Well, I never did get to my “Year of the Horse” images did I?
This was such a fun day for me, revisiting it proved too much of an editing challenge.
I foresee another equine post coming up in the near future.
In the meantime, GO California Chrome!!
xoxo Sporty Slim