The Launch of Horse Racing - Sport of Kings
A series of luxury horse racing itineraries
England’s Iconic Racecourses Launch A Series of Luxury Horse racing Itineraries Exclusively to the GCC Traveller
Britain’s national tourism agency, VisitBritain has announced the launch of Horse racing - Sport of Kings, a series of luxury horse racing itineraries especially curated for the discerning GCC horse racing aficionado. Officially launched during the Dubai World Cup on 31 March, this is the first time in the history of the sport that England's most iconic racecourses have collaborated with American Express Middle East to create a series of luxury itineraries for American Express Middle East Cardmembers who have access to Premium Travel Concierge Services.
Director for Horse racing – Sport of Kings, Rachel McQueen said:
“Horse racing is a traditional British sport with a long and distinguished history. We are delighted to introduce these bespoke horse racing itineraries to the GCC. Through the partnership with American Express, we are able to offer GCC residents the opportunity to be the first to experience the luxury itinerary series."
Commenting on the partnership, Julia de Souza, Vice President Customer Services & Operations from American Express Middle East said:
“We have built long term relationships with our Cardmembers, we have a deep understanding of what they value most about their Membership – access to exclusive experiences, uniquely crafted travel journeys and superior service. We’re delighted to work with VisitBritain and Horse Racing Sport of Kings to provide unique luxury itineraries for our Cardmembers."
VisitBritain aims to promote the luxury horse racing itineraries to horse racing enthusiasts in the region and to inspire them to book these experiences. Their recent ‘I Travel For…’ digital marketing campaign uses short-films and story-telling to shine the spotlight on unexpected experiences and less-explored destinations in Britain, alongside its globally renowned landmarks and attractions.
VisitBritain Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa Interim Director, Tricia Warwick said:
“The GCC is one of the most valuable inbound markets for VisitBritain hence we have chosen this region to launch for the first time these bespoke luxury itineraries. Our aim is to build on the growth we have seen, showcasing that Britain is bursting with wonderfully unexpected experiences that visitors can’t get anywhere else.”
Embedded in British culture and history, it is no surprise the United Kingdom is home to some of the most famous racecourses in the world including iconic Ascot, Royal Windsor, Chester, Newmarket and York who have all collaborated for this one off partnership. The itineraries are not structured, but allow the individual to create a bespoke package to suit their individual needs. The surrounding offering is equally impressive, from luxury hotels and some of the best dining options in the world, to Premier League football, luxury spa facilities, stud farms and falconry.
Horse racing is a major sport in England with a long history. For centuries horse racing has been linked with the English monarchy. Kings and Queens have made this sport what it is today. It is called the sport of kings because of its strong association with royalty and nobility. The history of England is the history of horse racing, from its humble beginnings to today’s Royal family’s continuing passion and patronage of the sport. There is no experience more quintessentially English than a day at the races, at the most iconic, historic racecourses that the country has to offer. A day at the races is an opportunity to experience English history and tradition at its best.
About Horse racing: Sport of the Kings
Few sporting venues can match the heritage and history of Ascot Racecourse. A national institution, it hosts Royal Ascot, a centrepiece of the British social calendar, attended by the Royal family, who herald the start of each day’s racing by arriving in a horse drawn carriage. Its associations with royalty go back to Queen Anne who first saw the potential for a race course here, back when it was called East Cote.
About Royal Windsor
The fact that Windsor racecourse is also known as Royal Windsor Racecourse tells you that this thoroughbred racing venue holds a very special place in the Queen’s heart. It’s not hard to see why. Sitting in 165 acres of stunning Berkshire countryside on the banks of the River Thames, it is right on Windsor Castle’s doorstep. Horse racing here dates back to good old Henry VIII days, when Windsor Great Park was an enclosed hunting ground that saw racing contests between monarchs like Henry and his rich noblemen. One of only two figure of 8 courses in the UK, flat racing began on Rays Meadow in 1866 and has flourished ever since.
There has been racing on the banks of the River Dee, next to the city’s famous roman walls, since the 16th century. To be precise, the first recorded race was run at the Chester Fair in 1512, where the winner received a hand painted wooden bowl. On the 9th February 1539 Henry Gee, Lord Mayor of Chester, introduced an annual horse race here making it not only the UK’s oldest racecourse, but also possibly the world’s first.
Newmarket lays claim to be where the Sport of Kings was born three and half centuries ago and exported around the world. It is a town steeped in horse racing, boasting not one but two race courses. Racing here has been recorded as far back as the reign of King James I, the first documented race being for £100 between horses owned by Lord Salisbury and the Marquis of Buckingham in March 1623. But it was King Charles II who really put Newmarket on the racing map. He used to attend races on the Newmarket Heath with his brother the future James II, and after his restoration to the throne in 1660, Charles adopted Newmarket for his sporting enjoyment.
One of the UK’s premier racecourses was once an expanse of muddy ground in North Yorkshire, still known by its medieval name as the Knavesmire, from the Anglo Saxon ‘knave’ meaning man of low standing and ‘mire’ meaning swampy pasture for cattle. From these humble beginnings York has risen to be voted Racecourse of the Year by the Racegoers Club, for each of the last two seasons. It was the first location after Newmarket, to formulate a structured race programme, racing on the same site since 1731 with the Great Subscription Purses an early highlight.
About Visit Britain
VisitBritain (www.visitbritain.org) is the national tourism agency, a non-departmental public body, funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, responsible for promoting Britain worldwide and developing its visitor economy. VisitBritain’s mission is to grow the value of inbound tourism to Britain, working with a wide range of partners in both the UK and overseas. Through its global reach, it aims to increase visitor spend to all parts of Britain and improve Britain’s ranking in the eyes of international visitors.