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sunny kalsi photography took time out on Friday 20th June to visit Royal Ascot.  This was our first time at the event, which meant we did not know what to expect.

Our good friends Nick and Ruchi had done all the hardwork in booking tickets, etc. We were charged with picnic duties!

Getting in to Ascot is slow, understandable given the volume of people attending.  The route takes you past stunning homes, with great views.  A far throw from the urban grind we experience day to day.  As they say, it’s nice to see what the other half live like. 

Once in to Ascot, the car parks are organised with each car being precision parked to avoid any wasted space.  The weather had been forecast for heavy showers all day, we arrived under bright but overcast conditions. The weather held out all day except for a 10 minute spell!  We had planned to have a picnic in the car park before attending the event.  I wasn’t too sure about this, but as it turned out we were out done by almost all our neighbours. 

People had brought along gazeebo’s, wooden garden furniture, and full on hampers.  Our picnic was pale in comparison.  Something to bear in mind for next year! In addition to the families attending, we did notice a couple of MPV’s full of ladies.  Drinks were flowing and the music was blaring across the car park, one set even brought along a karioke machine!

After the picnic, we made our way in to the general admission grandstand (we passed the limosine car park – from the traditional american stretch limo to stretch hummer’s and everything in between!).  Once inside, the place is awash with people.  It was difficult to equate this abundance of cash with the credit crunch that makes the news daily.  The champagne was flowing, and bets were being placed all the time.  The people were here to enjoy themselves!

Being at Ascot, we couldn’t resist a few nominal bets.  Neither of us have been in to gambling, other than the odd lottery ticket.  The effect of placing a bet on to an event is incredible.  For each race we were shouting and screaming, willing on our horse to win.  During the race, we really wanted that horse to win.  The gambling encapsulates you in to the event, nothing else crossed our minds.  That is scary, but not as half as scary as winning.  When you win, you believe you can win on the next one.  It is completely irrational, but you still do it.  I am impulsive by nature, and Mrs Kalsi is usually very good at keeping me in check.  After winning, even Mrs Kalsi was encouraging me to place a bet on the next race.  I can see how people can become addicted to gambling, as the rush of winning is amazing.


The one warning people should heed, is the sheer number of book makers on the premises.  These people are there to earn a living, and they aren’t there to make continuous payouts. It stands to reason they must make enough money for them to keep coming back.  It sounds obvious, but when you get that winning feeling……

The event itself started around 1.30pm with the Queen cruising past the track, followed by a military band procession.  There were 6 races, and we did bet blindly.  We did get 1 winner to reduce our losses on the day, which was nice. 

The day is long, and involves standing around most of the time.  A normal day for a wedding photographer! Old habits die hard:

One thing I didn’t expect was a fight in the grandstand, but we got one.  2 fella’s managed to come rumbing down the grandstand, collecting random people.  Unfortuntely, I didn’t have the appropriate lens on the camera to take a picture!  It was over in seconds, but it was funny to see how the media report on these things. Joking a side, flowing (albeit expensive) booze with gambling is a recipe for trouble…..

In Euro 2008 there were reported “skirmishes” between rival fans, when England are present these “minor” incidents are not reported.  Likewise, this incident was not reported.  It does make me question how fair and impartial the media reporting in the UK really is.  But that’s another discussion for another day………

My favourite part of the day was stumbling across this beautiful old BMW, perfectly maintained:

Thanks for reading!
















  1. Great write up. Glad you guys had a good time. Love the detailed pics which show just how much a good time there is to be had there.

  2. Nice pictures. Really enjoying the blog. Look forward to the next installment!

  3. nice shots buddy! you’ve captured the day with style!

  4. Simple and nice shots 🙂

  5. Great pics… I tried to look for you everytime i saw a brown face! lol

    there were a group of sardarji’s there i dont know if you noticed!

  6. wow

  7. The shots look amazing.

    Can’t wait to go next year.
    The photo of the top hats is brilliant. It epitomises all that is Ascot.

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