Ebor Festival 2013: fashion, food, and festival atmosphere

Alongside the 25 top class races, the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival (Wednesday 21 August–Saturday 24 August), at York Racecourse will host a fantastic festival of fashion, food, friendship and fun.

Total Prize Fund for this year’s racing action will be over £3,200,000, an increase of £270,000 on 2012 values. The first day of the festival is Wednesday 21 August which is a million pound raceday at York and will feature the richest single race York has ever staged, the Group 1 Juddmonte International now worth £750,000.


Fashion is always prominent at the Ebor and leading milliner Yvette Jelfs will be on hand with top tips for top hats. For all four days, racegoers will be able to take to the catwalk in the dedicated ‘Fashion at the Ebor’ marquee. Each day there will be a prize for the winner of the best dressed racegoer as well as for the best hat.

The daily winner on Ladies Day (Thursday 22 August), will also be crowned ‘Best Dressed Racegoer’, and will win a short break for two to the Marriott Hotel in Dubai as well as entry to the Dubai World Cup Race Night. The competition is open to ladies, gentlemen and children, who will each have their own category prize. It is about looking your best and enjoying fashion, it is not a search for a supermodel. The judging panel will consist of different guest judges over the course of the four days, including top designers.

For those seeking some retail therapy amongst others, there will be Yvette Jelfs hats as well handbags from Oriella, and clothing from Country Sporting of Cashel.


Food is a key part of the raceday experience and the team of over 60 chefs will use the best of Yorkshire ingredients to prepare 10,000 rounds of sandwiches, dressing 2,000 East Coast crab and using 450 dozen Yorkshire eggs in their desserts and sauces.

A hallmark of the Ebor Festival is the Yorkshire value on offer, a standout example is champagne at £29.50 a bottle on selected bars, with Mercier at £30.50. The Pimms Summer Bus is due at the course serving alongside John Smith’s and hand pulled Theakston Yorkshire ale.

A popular aspect of the Ebor Festival last year was the edible racehorse sculpture created by the combined talents of Yorkshire Sculpture Artist Emma Stothard and this year Harvey Nicholls window dresser Bruce Emeritt. The team has again been commissioned to celebrate York Racecourse Hospitality’s commitment to using Yorkshire produce and their 2013 design will be revealed on raceday but expect to see a reference to the Grand Départ of the Tour de France which will see York Racecourse as the start of Day 2 on Sunday 6 July 2014.


The festival atmosphere will see live music on all four days ranging from Murphy’s Marbles foot stomping Irish folk band fun to a Yorkshire Brass Band on the Weighing Room Lawn, performing in to the early evening to let the crowd linger a while after racing.

Art lovers also have a wide choice with the Blue Rider Gallery offering fine equestrian art and the Ascot Gallery offering a varied selection of prints and originals; the special commission of ‘Frankel at York’ is expected to be popular.

York works in partnership with its sponsors and racegoers can look out for the latest Range Rover Sport on display around the course and to relaxing in deckchairs courtesy of Neptune Investment Management. The horse is never far away and QIPCO, sponsors of the four British Champions Series races as well as Future Stars Apprentice Stakes, provide the opportunity for racegoers to meet a real racehorse who will be waiting in his special stable to greet them all week.

As some racegoers make Ebor week their annual trip to York, it is the first opportunity they may have had to enjoy the projects completed ahead of the season. The runners will pass in front of the recently refurbished County Stand, a Listed building that has seen its Edwardian charms both preserved and enhanced by the work of Yorkshire craftsmen, marshalled by Gem Construction Ltd of York.

Behind the freshly painted signature barber poles, racegoers can sample the snug created in the Alcoves Bar this season, whilst enjoying their choice of, wines from Cloudy Bay, hand-pulled Theakston Best Bitter or Laurent-Perrier champagne at York’s trademark low prices.

Four days of racing, fashion, food, and festival atmosphere await.

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