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The Arts of the Turf

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Royal Ascot

Brigadier Gerard de Piercy: There can be few sporting events in the calendar that delineate the lingering vestiges of the British class system as clearly as Ascot in June. Royal patronage of the meeting dates back to the purchase of Ascot Heath as a place to race horses by Queen Anne in 1711. A keen hunter in her youth, Anne had grown so repulsively obese by the age of 46 that she was unable to find a horse strong enough to carry her to go hunting. The queen was forced to find another way to indulge her passion for all…

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