A Punch-Up at the Races – next up the Reno Rodeo


Royal Ascot brawl saw bottles thrown, punches traded and tables smashed (Picture: INS)
Royal Ascot brawl saw bottles thrown, punches traded and tables smashed (Picture: INS). To the amazement of punters trying to enjoy a day at the races, eight men threw themselves into a full-blown fight near a bubbly bar at the back of the grandstand.
The English upper classes are still at the races in their finery, which appropriately for England includes umbrellas and occasionally boots for wading through the mud.  Every day has more hats, the queen wears a new outfit each time she shows up and of course that means every woman must have at least a new hat each day.  Today, Queen Elizabeth II invited her new granddaughter-in-law’s family to attend the races with her.  Talk about pressure: “I can’t go, I simply cannot, I have nothing to wear and certainly no hat.  She will have something spectacular,” the distraught woman wept covering her eyes.  While her poor husband stood helplessly watching his wife’s meltdown, wondering if it was too early for a bit of a nip.
There was a real meltdown at Royal Ascot today that far outdid my imaginary meltdown of a Middleton woman; some of the young men may have had too much testosterone and alcohol racing through their veins.  It would seem that combination is just as chaotic among British aristocrats dressed in their society uniforms as it is with working class football fans at a soccer match or any group of young men in any manner of garb anywhere in the world.  Apparently in the “punch up” they “knocked” each other about with bottles, table legs and fence posts.  This is one of those occasions when I love the world of the ubiquitous photographer – my imagination would have failed when I tried to imagine their clothes and their punches – you know an English Punch is a unique thing; but I have to admit the guys with the purple shirts don’t fit my mental image of aristocrats, so they must be commoners crowding in to watch “their betters” do battle royal.
Well, the races are nearly over for this year;  next year Royal Ascot will be ready to begin its forth century with new hats, new “silks” for the jockeys (they had a contest, the winner used “fruit machines” [slot machines] for inspiration) and old aristocrats acting badly. What fun!  In Reno we are ramping up to rodeo – a 90-year tradition in this town, for us that is significant.  Our rodeo also features horse, people dressed in outlandish hats and probably a punch-up or two, just like the English. What fun!
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