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Don’t Dress Down For The Horses!

Posted by Boghound on February 16, 2012


Ascot’s orange spot of shame

Ascot has apologised after stewards stuck orange dots on racegoers who failed to comply with a new dress code.

It was meant as a way to smarten up dress standards and give racegoers a polite warning if they were not quite up to scratch.

But last night Ascot Racecourse was forced to apologise for a new policy of sticking orange dots on to people who failed to comply with its new, stricter dress code.

Under the new rules, introduced yesterday, men in the premier enclosure are asked to wear a jacket and tie while women should dress smartly.

Those who broke the guidelines were still admitted, but had the stickers applied to their entrance badge.

Ascot said the stickers were designed to act as a warning and to let stewards know that a racegoer had already been spoken to about their outfit, to avoid the embarrassment of repeated verbal warnings.

But those issued with the mark said they felt humiliated, and launched angry complaints at race course chiefs.

Organisers later apologised, saying the tactic was “heavy-handed”.

Nick Smith, head of public relations at Ascot, said: “We are trying to bring in a new dress code but didn’t want on day one to turn anyone away and genuinely thought we were treading quite softly.

“Everything behind the thinking appeared to make a lot of sense, but it’s clear that targeting people like this gave out the wrong message.

“The intention wasn’t to be heavy-handed so we apologise. It was clearly the wrong thing to do and there will not be orange tags next time.”

The dress code for premier admission, set out on the Ascot Racecourse website, states: “A day at Ascot Racecourse is very special. Most racegoers dress up for the occasion and this is an important part of the Ascot Raceday experience.

“Gentlemen should wear a jacket and tie, smart trousers or smart jeans, no trainers. There will be an announcement on the day allowing jackets to be removed, should the weather be hot. Ladies should dress for a smart occasion; hats are encouraged but not compulsory. Children should be dressed smartly.”

There is no formal dress code in the course’s cheaper grandstand enclosure, although the rules state “bare chests are not permitted at any time”.

Last week the racecourse also announced that fascinators and short skirts would be banned for women attending the annual Royal Ascot meeting.

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