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L’Ormarins King’s Plate: An iconic summer festival returns to Cape Town

As the summer season hits its stride, the prestigious L'Ormarins King's Plate makes its return to the newly renovated Hollywoodbets Kenilworth Racecourse on Saturday, January 6, 2024.
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True to form, this iconic Cape Town summer racing festival boasts a rich history of over 150 years and promises an exceptional blend of social and sporting excitement.

 

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Celebrating Over 150 Years of Equestrian Heritage

The Grade 1 L’Ormarins King’s Plate dates back to 1861 and holds a special place in equestrian history as South Africa’s oldest continuous horse race.

Established in honour of Queen Victoria, it continues to be held in honour of the British monarch. Last year, following a run of 19 years, as the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, the event was renamed the L’Ormarins King’s Plate after the accession of King Charles III.

As the pinnacle of the Cape Town racing season, the racing event brings together the finest thoroughbreds to vie for the coveted title of L’Ormarins King’s Plate champion and a share of the prize money of nearly R2 million.

A highlight of the 2024 festival is the second running of the Okapi Ladies International race. This race, contested exclusively by female jockeys, will see the 1,200m track compete for an impressive prize purse of R200,000. Inspired by the Magnolia Cup in Britain, it was a popular addition, when it was first run earlier this year, at the L’Ormarins Kings Plate 2023.

 

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Fashion, Fun, and Glamour on Full Display

Cartier, the renowned luxury brand, returns as sponsor of the Grade 1 Paddock Stakes and Best Dressed competition at the L’Ormarins King’s Plate 2024. Overseeing three categories: Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Man and Best Hat, these off-track competitions give participants the opportunity to demonstrate a stylish, sophisticated, fashion flair.

Cartier joins a number of sponsors, including Drakenstein Stud Farm, Anthonij Rupert Wines, Franschhoek Motor Museum, Okapi, Heineken, Schweppes and Merchants on Long, who all contribute to the success of the event.

Donovan Everitt, COO of Cape Racing, says, “The 2024 LKP marks an exciting milestone, with L’Ormarins celebrating 20 years as a partner. This anniversary highlights the enduring success of the L’Ormarins King’s Plate and the lasting partnerships that have contributed to its prominence in Cape Town’s summer season.”

 

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New and Exciting Additions for 2024

For the 2024 L’Ormarins King’s Plate, organisers are committed to highlighting fringe events that encourage all attendees to be an integral part of race-day. Among these, a photography and writing competition stand out as a fresh and interactive way for attendees to get involved.

The photography competition encourages guests to capture the essence of the day, from elegant fashion to exciting races. It’s not just about technical skills but also about conveying the event’s heart and soul through the lens.

The writing competition, on the other hand, invites wordsmiths to craft narratives that bring the day to life on paper. It’s all about sharing personal experiences and creating a lasting record of the Plate!s unique spirit.

“These fringe events aim to make the L’Ormarins King’s Plate 2024 a more personal and engaging experience, allowing attendees to create lasting memories and be part of the event’s story,” adds Katherine Gray, L’Ormarins King’s Plate Coordinator.

 

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A Starlit Summer After-Party Celebration

And once the final race is run, the party of the season begins, with the L’Ormarins King’s Plate 2024 afterparty.

A lineup of star-studded DJs, soon to be announced, will transform the event into a night of music and dancing, the afterparty will be an open-air experience, taking place directly beneath the warm Cape’s night sky.

“The L’Ormarins King’s Plate has always been about bringing people together for the finest in racing, fashion and entertainment. We can’t wait to deliver an incredible festival experience under the African sun and starlit skies at our re-imagined venue,” concludes Gray.

Ticket sales will open on Computicket at the end of November – watch our social media pages and website for updates. Style Village access will be R500 and Stud Club tickets will be priced at R1 600.

Don’t miss this highlight of the Cape Town summer season on Saturday, January 6, 2024.

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