I have just been watching the races at Royal Ascot on TVG. It is here each June that every great horse in Europe comes to do battle.
And it is here that the most beautiful women, creatively coiffed in splendiferous garb, come to strut their stuff with their top-hatted, dandyish escorts.
I have attended Royal Ascot a dozen times in my life and in the end I grew weary of what I found to be a staggering number of bona fide fops. But I am reminded now of what a beautiful thing horseracing can be, when conducted in a lovely, manicured setting and attended by tidy looking human beings.
Admittedly, I am an old time guy, perhaps better suited by the mores and formality of a by-gone time. I prefer many of the old time ways. For instance, I was grief stricken when "casual Fridays" were introduced into the world of commerce. I was dismayed when I visited my long-time, blue chip Atlanta law firm and discovered attorneys strolling through the halls in jeans and t-shirts, clad as if they were preparing for a hayride. People nowadays go to the theatre, ride on airplanes, and dine out in fine restaurants looking as if they were going to participate in a track meet. In the words of a popular musical comedy number, "Whatever happened to class?"
Certainly the world has lost its elegance, and there are many-the majority, I fear-who applaud that trend. And racing has certainly gone along with it. But I say thank goodness there is still a Royal Ascot. Thank goodness for Keeneland and it's still evident tradition of grace. Thank goodness for Saratoga and its lingering desire to have a dress code in the box section.
But alas, now the powers that be at Saratoga have announced a relaxation of the dress code at the Spa. So it will be a far cry indeed back to the days when on a hot day men dared not remove their coats before ushers announced that Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, president of the New York Racing Association, had given his permission to do so.
Ah, for the good old days!
This is Cot Campbell, and this is my view-antiquated though it may be.