Royal Ascot at Home: Ascot Races 2020 Taking Place as Virtual Event
by Olivia Michel
Royal Ascot may be closed to the public this year, but the 2020 races will still go ahead as a virtual event - discover how you can take part in Royal Ascot at Home on June 16-20 below.
The racing world lamented when it was announced in early spring that Royal Ascot 2020 would be cancelled. The equestrian event is one of the most important gatherings in the UK’s social calendar, and every summer brings in as many as 300,000 race-goers and 509 horses over the five-day meet. Regular attendees of Royal Ascot will therefore be delighted to hear that the races are in fact going ahead this year.
The public may not be able to attend in person, but from the comfort and safety of their own homes will be able to watch the horse racing take place live on TV. From June 16-20, every single Royal Ascot race scheduled to take place will be available to view live on the ITV Racing and Sky Sports Racing channels. The races will commence at 13:15 BST from Tuesday to Friday, and on Saturday June 20, races will be televised between 12:40 BST and 16:40 BST. The Royal Ascot at Home virtual event will also be available to watch in the US on NBC and on Channel7/Racing.com over in Australia.
Information about specific race times can be found on the Royal Ascot website and a new digital racecard will be available each day for racing fans. The Ascot racecourse social media channels will also be active throughout the week, with experts giving betting advice and exclusive insights for the upcoming races.
As well as watching the races live, Royal Ascot has ingeniously found ways for the public to bring the Royal Ascot experience home. Nothing completes a day at the races quite like an afternoon tea, so race-goers now have the option to either order a prepared spread to their home, or can use the step-by-step recipes on the Royal Ascot website to recreate their own cakes, cocktails and other culinary treats.
The organisers are also urging those watching from home to boost morale by donning their fashionable finery and sharing snaps on social media. Those who do will be in for a chance to win incredible prizes, including a Longines watch or a complementary meal at next year’s gathering. Participants are also asked to donate £5 to help Ascot’s chosen frontline charities with each photo they share, in order to show their support for those fighting coronavirus.
With other interactive competitions taking place throughout the week –from a charity hat auction to a chance to win a personal phone call with the racing world’s legendary jockeys – there’s plenty of ways to experience Royal Ascot at Home. Head to ascot.co.uk to find out more.
And if you're still looking for interactive ways to stay entertained at home this summer, make sure to check out our favourite virtual events and online travel experiences, as well as stopping by to visit our Virtual BOAT Show.