Guide to York’s Ebor Festival
York’s oldest race meeting features top class racing alongside fabulous fashion and fun over four days so read our guide to York’s Ebor Festival to get the most out of it!
The annual highlight of the season on the Knavesmire runs from Wednesday 23rd August through to Saturday 26th August 2017 with Ladies’ Day on the Thursday and the Ebor race itself to be run on the final day.
Dress to impress for the Ebor Fashion Lawn
Fashion is always an important element of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.
On all four days of festival, standside racegoers will be able to visit the Ebor Fashion Lawn, set in the picturesque surroundings of Edwardian Weighing Room Lawn in the heart of the racecourse.
The Lawn – designed by Rebecca Marriott – comes complete with a catwalk encased in trailing white and fusica flowers; evoking a sense of vintage garden party blended with an open air society wedding.
Racegoers are invited to strut their stuff to compete for the daily ‘Best Dressed Racegoer’ prizes.
With special prizes for best dressed couple and children as well as for the smartest headgear of each day, it promises to bring a little magic to the fashion that has always been part of the festival.
Gentlemen as well as ladies are invited to compete, and the winner on Ladies’ Day will also be crowned ‘Best Dressed Festival Racegoer’.
The competition is free to enter once you have purchased an admission to either County Stand or Grandstand & Paddock, and racegoers attending on multiple days can keep coming back. Of course, for some, the fun will be in cheering on their friends and the Ebor Fashion Lawn offers a full range of services to form a base for a raceday.
Wednesday – Juddmonte International
The prestigious Group One Juddmonte International remains the highlight of the opening day, a contest regularly ranked in the top ten middle distance contests in the world and won in 2012 by Frankel, the highest ranked horse in the world to date.
Another race to look forward to is the Great Voltigeur as this York Group Two frequently produces winners of the final Classic of the year, the St Leger.
Thursday – Yorkshire Oaks & Ladies’ Day
Though fashion is prominent on all four days of the festival, Ladies’ Day is when it comes to the fore.
On the track, the racecard attracts the best fillies for the Group One Yorkshire Oaks and the Group Two Lowther Stakes.
Friday – Nunthorpe Stakes
Friday sees the fastest race of the season, the Nunthorpe Stakes. In 2012, the successful Australian raider, Ortensia, took the crown with a stunning turn of foot close to home. In 2014 Sole Power raced a 58-second masterpiece to take the Nunthorpe crown once again, after being the long-priced victor in 2010.
Saturday – Ebor Day
The feature race of the Saturday is the Ebor, the oldest, and probably most famous race at York and the richest Flat handicap in Europe.
Called after ‘Eboracum’, the Roman name for York, the race was first run in 1843, and it was originally known as the Great Ebor Handicap.
The excitement that this famous handicap generates has been constant since its inauguration. The roll-call of winners include Mudawin a victor at over 100–1; Sergeant Cecil, a victor who became horse of the year; Purple Moon who landed a nationwide gamble and then headed down under and very nearly became the first British-trained winner of the Melbourne Cup; and a flying dismount from Frankie – and that’s just in its recent history.
The buzz about the racecourse on Ebor day is infectious as groups of friends unwind for the weekend and enjoy the sporting excellence.