The Royal Ascot Goat Race is back!
By Baluku Geoffrey
KAMPALA – If you are a socialite, mark 25th August 2018. That day will mark the return of the Royal Ascot Goat Races that have been missing on Kampala’s social calendar for the last six years. The venue remains Speke Resort Munyonyo.
The announcement a month ago by Rajiv Ruparelia about the return of the event, sent socialites into over drive. This was reaffirmed during a soft launch this evening at Speke Apartments where Sheena Ruparelia one of the main organizers noted that the Goat race would be fun packed with additional activities such as a silent disco, a chilling out lounge, food and drink outlets as well as a wide variety of other entertainment for both adults and children.
Unlike in horse races where the animals display amazing speed and footwork, goat handlers push a padded horizontal barrier on wheels around the track to keep the goats from grazing, fighting or running backwards during the race.
The goats come dressed in T-shirts with numbers inscribed on them. The goat owners actually bet loads of money on which goat is going to win the race. To brake the seal, music star Moses Ssali aka Bebe Cool bought himself a goat during the launch this evening at Shs 1 million, and went ahead to name it “Apass”. Others who paid for a goat were Mr. Elvis Ssekyanzi of Silk Events who bought his at Shs 2.3 million.
During the launch; Rajiv Ruparelia confirmed to Tourism Uganda that this year’s signature event would highlight fashion, glam and style. He called on Ugandans not only to come and watch the interesting races, but also to network and socialize.
This year’s Goat Race has attracted a number partners including Tusker Malt — the major sponsor, Sanyu FM, Kampala Executive Aviation, Silk Events and the Ruparelia Group. During the event, a diverse number of corporate companies erect tents where music, spiced by booze and eats flow.
Besides the goat race, the person with the most elaborate hat is awarded alongside the best dressed man and woman.
“We are extremely excited to be part of this event that was marked on everyone’s social calendar during that time,” said Grace Namutebi, Brand Manager Premium Beers at Uganda Breweries.
According to Naiya Ruparelia, this year’s event will entail six races for the day with each featuring ten goats and any one could have a goat to represent them. The proceeds from this year’s edition will go to charity in support of the Toto’s Tag Rugby and Outreach Program that seeks to enable 250 children learn the sport at Kyadondo Rugby Club, Kampala.