For centuries it’s been regarded as the highlight of the summer calendar for the well-off and well-connected.
But the atmosphere turned sour at Ascot yesterday as shocking brawls and catfights broke out, with the usually glamorous Ladies Day descending into chaos.
In the most dramatic show of violence, champagne-sipping racegoers watched on as a shirtless man started a fight with a punter, shouting ‘let’s finish it off’ as he rampaged through the crowd.
Footage taken in the Queen Anne Enclosure captures punters screaming in shock as the bald offender and another man in a white shirt hurl foul-mouthed abuse at one another before being frantically pulled apart.
Dolled-up women, drinks and even a fence then become casualties of the heated tussle as the topless man crashes through the crowd, winding up his fists as his rival back away and held up his hands.
A guest can be heard shouting ‘f****** idiot’ while another yells ‘f*** off you coward’ as the violent man stomps past, despite others trying to hold him back.
As the fight escalated at the ground in Ascot, Berkshire, one woman was knocked to the ground and had her drink spilled all over her. Nearby, a man is forced to intervene as three women launch a catfight, with one lady slapping her rival and trying to shove her to the ground.
Eventually, the man was calmed down by a crowd who restrained him. Visitor Dan Ingram posted the video on Twitter with the caption: ‘GOD SAVE THE QUEEN’. The video was turned into a GIF, which is now going viral.
Things got off to a classy start at Ascot but after one too many drinks, emotions were running high and one man could be seen removing his top, left, before engaging in a fight with a fellow reveller as women were drawn in, drinks were knocked over and a fence was ripped down, right
Two women appeared to become embroiled in a cat fight, yanking on each other’s fascinators, as people looked on in horror when things took a sour turn on Ladies Day
A woman was knocked to the ground, whilst drinks flew off the table, as the tussle grew increasingly heated
The topless man could be seen with his fists poised as he charged at another suited man as tensions ran high at the racecourse after drinks flowed on Thursday
Whilst things got off to a classy start, by the late afternoon proceedings had taken a boozy turn at Ladies Day
At one point, a man can be heard shouting: ‘Tom’s there, Joey, leave off’.
One onlooker said the brawl, which took place at around 5pm, erupted ‘out of nowhere’.
He told MailOnline: ‘A drink landed on the grass next to me and I look around and saw these two men fighting. It came out of nowhere but exacerbated really quickly.
‘They were grappling and broke a fence – and then the women got involved. They were pulling their hair and scratching. One woman got pushed off her chair.’
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The onlooker said the man without the shirt was ‘beckoning the other guy on’.
‘More blokes tried to pull them apart, then they joined in themselves,’ he said. ‘Others were pretending to try to stop the fight but were tripping people over.
‘But really it was just handbags. There was no killer punch. No one got knocked down. It was quite entertaining really.’
Before arriving at the races, the man was spotted with a group arriving at Cobham Services, just off the M25, in a minibus. One person who was also at the services said he was topless at the time, but was wearing a tie.
As the fights unfolded, Her Majesty was in attendance nearby, presenting the Gold Cup to winner Big Orange while her husband Prince Philip recovered from an infection at home.
Ascot is known for its drunken brawls; in 2011 a mass fight broke out on Ladies Day, with top-hatted race-goers brandishing £98 bottles of Laurent Perrier as weapons. One man was seen being held in a headlock and members of a military band had to step in to stop the fight.
An Ascot spokesman said security staff from the venue dealt with the incident but that police were not alerted and no arrests were made.
They added: ‘It is disappointing when an antisocial small minority behave inappropriately.
‘In a crowd of 70,000 sadly such incidences are hard to entirely irradiate but our staff and the police act on information as soon as they can.’
With flowing prosecco and some high octane horse racing, it’s little surprise that spirits, emotions and tensions ran high at Royal Ascot on Thursday.
Whilst things got off to a glamorous start with sartorially clued-up women enjoying civilised drinks in the grandstand, proceedings had taken a boozy turn at Ladies Day by the late afternoon.
The day’s festivities appeared to get a little too much for some revellers, who were seen stumbling barefoot through the course, taking power naps and even engaging in some very frisky public displays of affection.
Ladies kicked off their stilettos and relaxed on the grass with prosecco and wine bottles strewn across the floor, with some even busting out some impressive dance moves.
Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid was certainly getting into the spirit of things as she roared and cheered in the hope that her horse would bring home some cash – and the jubilant presenter got lucky as her horse won.
Eh sexy lady! A woman performs the dance routine to Psy’s hit Gangnam Style as proceedings at Ascot take a raucous turn
Things got off to a glamorous start with sartorially clued-up women enjoying civilised drinks in the grandstand at Ladies Day
A woman donned a very daring leather dress with thigh high slits as she strutted her stuff on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot
I never promised you a rose garden! Betsy Bamford from New York took the floral theme to the max with her very decorative dress and hat (left). Similarly another reveller plumped for a Barbie-meets-rose bush kind of look (right)
Vanessa White, Roxie Nafousi, Laura Whitmore (in a ‘Good Golly Miss Molly Bespoke Hat) and Tahnee Atkinson pose up a storm as they attend a Karen Millen lunch
The crowd goes wild for the action on the track, although it all bypassed on tired woman who was napping on a picnic blanket
Did it all get too much? A lady appeared to be taking a snooze on a picnic blanket as the afternoon wore on
Things took a boozy turn as the prosecco and wine began to flow at the racecourse. One reveller celebrated a win, left, whilst an amorous couple shared a kiss on the grass, right
Sleepy? One woman took a little power nap surrounded by several empty bottles and even a crutch on Thursday
Neigh bother: Susanna Reid punched the air in triumph as she watched her horse win at Royal Ascot in Berkshire on Thursday
Oh no! The 47-year-old presenter initially hid her face with both hands in despair as her steed lagged behind
That’s the ticket! She later beamed with glee as her horse galloped to victory, while Mark Wright smiled behind her
The day took a boozy turn as revellers tucked into bottles of champagne. Elsewhere, a couple put on a peculiar display of affection involving their tongues
Spirits were high for revellers as they sipped on some champagne en route to take in some equestrian action
One woman appeared to have lost her shoes as she stumbled through the carpark on the arm of her doting daughter
A thirsty reveller knocked back a big glass of red wine as she enjoyed the day’s festivities with her pals
A group of racegoers gave their tired feet a break by relaxing on the grass as they assessed their winnings over a jug of Pimms
Backed a winner ladies? Racing fans couldn’t contain their excitement as they cheered on their horses (left). Pimms o’clock! A woman carries a jug of the refreshing tipple as people get into the party spirit on Ladies Day (right)
Cheers to that! One woman raised a glass of Pimm’s as she made her way into the grandstand on Thursday
SECURITY IS PARAMOUNT AT ASCOT AS ARMED OFFICERS PATROL THE RACECOURSE
Following on from the recent terror attacks across the UK, security was tighter than ever with armed police lining the entrance and bags being rigorously checked.
Glamorous racegoers were even seen posing up beside armed officers, with royal protection officers arriving behind the royal family in their finery.
A royal protection officer arrived with a huge gun dressed in his top and tails to protect the royal family
Armed police are patrolling the grounds amid heightened security after recent terror attacks, but at least these officers were treated to some glamorous company
Left: It appeared that a woman had sat in something unfortunate as her friend helped mop up her dress. Right: A couple were in high spirits as they kicked off their shoes and sipped on some cider
What’s going on here? A woman appeared to crouch down as she chatted to a bookie with a bottle of prosecco in her hand
Friends weren’t worried about getting grass stains on their race day best as they sat on the ground in front of the grandstand
An excitable trio proved how happy they were to be enjoying Ladies Day in all their finery
A bit of all white! Five ladies donned their best white dresses as they arrived at the venue in style
A stunning racegoer posed by the grounds in a mini red dress with floral embellishment and Louboutin heels
A group of girlfriends looked ready for a big day ahead as they posed with a glass of bubbly
Five friends dressed to the nines showcased their best pouts as they posed for photos
Vibrant prints, elaborate hats and lavish accessories were the order of the day for the ladies on Thursday
Kimberley Hodgson from Leicestershire (right) and Jodie Jackson from Nottinghamshire pose up a storm as they arrive for Ladies Day (left). Russian model Marinka Smiernova and a friend turn up the heat in scarlet dresses and teetering heels (right)
It’s picnic time! Racing fans settled on the grass in front of the grandstand to enjoy nibbles with wine and jugs of Pimms
Tense times! Racing fans couldn’t hide their emotions as they cheered on the riders
Swish swish! A woman performs a twirl for the camera as she arrives for Ladies Day at Royal Ascot (left). Another was at one with nature in a had adorned with garlands of hanging flowers (right)
After a long day of teetering around in high heels and figure-hugging outfits, Ascot racegoers were keen to kick back and relax
Men throw off their top hats to salute the winner as The Big Orange romps to victory in the Gold Cup
If Ascot is the jewel in the crown of the racing calendar, then Ladies Day is surely one of the style highlights of the summer.
Fashionable racegoers descended on the Berkshire course this morning dressed to impress in very dramatic hats as they hoped to catch the eyes of the judges.
One woman ensured she stood out from the crowd in a very daring blue leather dress, slashed to the thigh on both sides.
The drama of the millinery was also ramped up several notches with some people sporting enough tropical flower adornments to fill a botanical garden, and one woman even adding an aviary of tropical birds – and an incongruous owl – to her headpiece.
Taking a breather! A male racegoer, who seemed to have lost his shoes, stretches out on the grass for a breather
Bountiful bubbles! Picnicking friends topped up their glasses with champagne
Racegoers enjoy a drink in front of the grandstand on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot (left). A woman wearing a hat adorned with lilies and butterflies – one of the most popular embellishments of the day (right)
This is what it’s all about! Racing fans got into the true spirit of the day as they cheered on the riders, but one gentleman looked as if his horse wasn’t performing (right)
While the day got off to a sedate start, things turned a little more raucous as the afternoon wore on with one woman happily sprawling on the ground to pose for a photo
You wish you were at this picnic! Friends in matching outfits looked very glamorous as they enjoyed their spread
Time to celebrate! There were some very happy racegoers on the course after the Gold Cup, which was won by Big Orange (left). A woman hitches a lift on her companion’s shoulders after a long day on her feet (right)
Movable feast! Anne Hudson from St. Helens sported her picnic on her head (left) while others stuck with a more traditional look (right)
Tweet, tweet! This woman’s hat boasted tropical birds, bees and butterflies and even a slightly incongruous owl
Gail Hayden-Stapf from Ascot puts on an eye-catching display in silver on her home turf (left). Paula Gibson from Buenos Aires plumped for an exotic hat and floral print coat over a lace trimmed maxi dress (right)
Did they back a winner? Excited friends kicked off their shoes and jumped on to plastic chairs
Hot stuff! A couple adopted a more unusual approach to race day dressing in flame themed outfits
Racegoers cheered on the riders and made sure to capture all the action on their phones
Diana Gomez, Fran Gamble, Pips Taylor, Doina Ciobanu, Laura Pradelska and Victoria Grant in the new enclosure at Royal Ascot
Let’s get this party started! Eager racegoers get fully into the spirit of things in the picnic area (left). A group of friends kicked off their heels in favour of flip flops after a long day on their feet (right)
Cigarettes and Pringles are the perfect accompaniment to champagne and strawberries!
Amanda Wakeley rejected fussy florals and kept things simple and stylish in black and white (left). One of the youngest racegoers was simply adorable in a lace dress and mini fascinator (right)
At a certain point of the afternoon racing fans stopped worrying about keeping their dresses pristine as they perched on the grass
Friends enjoy a laugh as one member of the party reclines on the ground for their group shot
British fashion designer Amanda Wakeley, who wore a black and white trouser suit from her collection and a Jane Taylor hat, summed up the mood of the event.
She said: ‘I love Ladies’ Day because everyone makes an even bigger effort. Everyone has their own take on femininity and I’m a big fan of staying true to yourself.’
Argentinian-born Paula Gibson, 59, had travelled to Ascot with British husband Jonathan Gibson from their home in Amsterdam and needed two hands to steady her large hat – a collection of exotic birds, owls, nests of eggs, butterflies, fruit and a frog.
She said: ‘I’ve been collecting the birds throughout the year from shops then sat down last weekend and put the hat together.
Two friends were perfectly bedecked with plumes (left) while Eddie Jordan’s wife Marie looked edgy in a printed coat and trousers (right)
Passions running high! Racegoers pucker up for a smooch at Royal Ascot Ladies Day
BBC newsreader Sally Nugent and weather presenter Carol Kirkwood made for a very stylish pair (left). Raceogers put their best foot forward as they make their way to the course (right)
Looking fierce, ladies! A group of friends strut their stuff in all their finery as they make their way through the course
A picture perfect line-up! Actors Jeremy Irvine, Nicholas Pinnock and Nathalie Emmanuel join model Richard Biedul and fashion photographer Alistair Guy in the Longines suite
Out of this world! Amy Williams no doubt turned a few heads in this cosmic pom pom hat (left). Sports presenter Aly Vance showed off her fashion credentials in a cobalt dress and pink hat (right)
Both Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Zara Tindall took a leaf out of Kate’s book and opted for summery white dresses for today’s visit to Royal Ascot
Princess Eugenie stunned in fiery red while her sister plumped for a light blue dress (left). Princess Anne was perfectly co-ordinated in a green dress and hat with cream gloves (right)
‘The festivities here are so British, I love it. I’ve been coming on and off for the last 10 years and still enjoy it.’
Racegoers are encouraged to make a special effort with their outfits for Ladies’ Day, the mid-point in the five-day racing meet, which is as much a social occasion as a major sporting event for top owners, trainers and jockeys.
Marie Hudson, 76, was with a group of friends all from St Helens, and was sporting a hamper on her head filled with champagne flutes, a bottle of bubbly, sweet treats and fruit.
Spectators looking into the Royal Procession arriving into the Parade Ring, eager to snap an image of the Queen on their phones
Just follow the hat! These friends certainly wouldn’t have any trouble locating each other if they got separated in a crowd (left). Loanne Collyer joins Hollyoaks’ Sophie Porley at the Karen Millen lunch (right)
Guests enjoy the atmosphere on Ladies Day (left). This woman cuts a striking figure in a feathered headdress that sublty picked up on the plumes in her tattoo (right)
The power of the flower! Ladies were in full bloom around the course sporting patterned dresses, embellished hats and – in the case of one woman – a giant rose on her head (right)
The finishing touches! A woman helps to adjust her friend’s hair as they prepared to put their best foot forward
At least it’s not 30C! Despite soaring temperatures throughout the week, a woman braved the racecourse in a full length leather dress. The daring garment featured a zip all the way down the front and floral cutouts as well as being slashed to the thigh on both sides
A guest toting a Chanel handbag puts on a pouty display for the camera (left). A woman makes sure her hat doesn’t get dislodged by the wind (right)
A racegoer takes a photo on day three of Royal Ascot (left). Don’t let them fly away! A woman clutches the veritable aviary on her head (right)
She said: ‘I just love Ascot, we come every year and just love the atmosphere. My hat was made by one of my friends Karen, it’s just something different.’
This week’s heatwave saw Ascot’s strict dress code relaxed for the first time, allowing men to remove their jackets in the Royal Enclosure.
But most firmly stuck with tradition and kept on their suit jackets and heavy tailcoats despite temperatures of 30C.
A spokesman for Royal Ascot said: ‘In light of the continued hot weather, we are taking a common sense approach.’
It is believed, although the rules in the royal enclosure were not relaxed, those racegoers who felt overwhelmed by the heat were not compelled by officials to keep their jackets on.
Hello, England’s Rose: Brooke Barnett from Southampton sported an oversized corsage on her head (left). Taking inspiration from a gardening manual? Hat designer Tracy Rose wore a huge book adorned with blooms (right)
Girls’ day out! Friends couldn’t contain their excitement as they showed off their best race day fashions
Milliner Ana Pribylova, left was her own best advertisement as she posed for photos with Charlotte Hamilton (left) pose for photographers (left). Hold on to your hat! A racegoer adjusts her feathered creation as she accompanies a rose-adorned friend (right)
Perfect if you fancy a flutter! A woman sports a hat themed on a roulette wheel (left). A racing fan sports an outrageous confection of frills (right)
Presenter Laura Whitmore stunned in a cream lace dress with floral embellishment and a delicate cocktail hat (left). Lady in red Marinka Smiernova teamed her body con dress with a fur capelet, despite the warm temperatures (right)
Feathered friends! A woman stuns in an outré display of black white and brown plumes (left). Another adorned herself in green quills to match her dress (right)
Ahoy sailor! This woman’s outfit could be equally at home at the regatta and the races (left). Fashion designer Inga Kovalerova was clearly hoping to net the best dressed crown in her butterfly adorned garb
Good enough to eat! A quirky picnic themed hat complete with a bottle of champagne (left). Pink ladies: Friends show off a colour spectrum from blush to fuchsia (right)
Making new friends! Lystra Adams from Stafford speaks to Pamela Houlker, Sarah wilkinson, and Ruth Wilkinson from Preston
Hold on to your hat! Today’s guests faced much breezier conditions after yesterday’s heatwave (left) Khiley Williams from The Tootsie Rollers wears a red hat by Edinburgh based milliner Sally Ann Provan (right).
Today ticket holders will be relieved at much more clement conditions with cloudy weather and temperatures of a more modest 23C expected.
Up to 300,000 people are due to descend on the event over the course of five days, including the Queen who has attended every year since she came to the throne in 1952.
Yesterday she refused to miss one of the most important dates in her diary, despite having to attend the State Opening of Parliament.
Her Majesty gave the Queen’s speech and arrived in time for the first race at 2.30, via a quick outfit change from blue brocade to sunny yellow.
Earlier in the day Labour MP Dennis Skinner left his cohorts in stitches as he joked about the Queen not wanting to miss one of her favourite events of the year.
As Black Rod invited MPs to the House of Commons to hear the Queen, Mr Skinner yelled: ‘Yeah – better get your skates on, the first race is at half past two’.
A racegoer in a cream dress and angled black hat was the picture of elegance (left). Model Lystra Adams was very eager to flaunt her feathers (right)
It’s Ladies Day! Colourfully costumed women looked delighted to be showing off their elaborate millinery
Taking your love of horses to the max! A woman sports an enormous valance of red frills topped with a man on a horse (left). Friends flash their biggest grins for the camera as they get into the spirit of the day (right)
A bit of all white! One woman put on a very daring display in a dress that did little to preserve her modesty (left). A racegoer keeps it easy and breezy in a summery white broderie anglaise dress (right)
You look great. No, YOU look great: Friends admire each other’s outfits as they prepare to enjoy Ladies Day at Ascot
Time for the races? A clock feature was one of the more unusual adornments of the day (left) but it seems that nothing can topple florals from reigning supreme (right)
Three racegoers in stylish outfits and hat that give a nod to traditional African themes
Millinery is always the highlight of Ladies Day but this morning saw people take things to new elaborate levels
A racegoer checks out the competition as two women with very dramatic hats pose for a picture
MPs roared with laughter and even Black Rod, Lieutenant General David Leakey, smirked at the quip about Theresa May disrupting Her Majesty’s racing plans.
Her Majesty arrived in the traditional carriage parade this afternoon and will present the trophy to the winner of the prestigious Gold Cup.
Yesterday the monarch left punters stumped after changing her hat, defying predictions she would wear blue.
This woman added interest to her outfit with metallic and feather accents (left). Another channeled this season’s trend for pearl embellishment (right)
Here come the girls! Anna Perry, Cara Palmer, Christine Walkin and Lindsay Healy from Leeds prepare to enjoy their day out
This racegoer looked delightfully summery in a floral dress and pink hat (left) while another was the picture of elegance in a streamlined white outfit (right)
They know how to catch the eye! Photographers were eager to snap a group of ladies in lilac, including one wearing a picnic hat
Here comes the bride? This family looked as if they could be on their way to a wedding – but who is tying the knot?
A welcome change! These friends eschewed the trend for florals and plumped for polka dots, a graphic print and an equestrian themed number
A confection of blue flowers complemented this woman’s outfit perfectly (left) Another sported a cascade of violet blooms that tumbled all the way over her shoulder (right)
Retro girl band, The Tootsie Roolers, who are a firm fixture at the festival, channeled bridal chic today and wore hats by Edinburgh based milliner Sally Ann Provan
Milliner Ilda Di Vico (left) and designer Amanda Wakeley both eschewed floaty dresses in favour of sharp tailoring
Racegoers arrive as armed police patrol outside on day three of Royal Ascot
Style sisters: Blonde friends elected to wear shades of blue and silver for their big day out, Model Jessica Hart was also resplendent in a blue dress with an exaggerated hour-glass style (right)
Friends in very impressive hats pause for a quick chat by the parade ring before the action gets underway (left). A party of fashionable racegoers soak up the atmosphere at the course where meetings have been held since 1711 (right)
Racegoers mill around and soak up the atmosphere ahead of the racing action which commences after lunch
Glamour girls! Three ladies put their best foot forward in fabulous fashions
Australian model Tahnee Atkinson, dancer Danielle Peazer, presenter Laura Whitmore and stylist Roxie Nafousi
You can’t miss her! Hat maker Tracy Rose was eye-catching to say the least in a silver dress and enormous piece of millinery (left). Meanwhile, actress Nathalie Emmanuel cut a much more understated figure in a pretty dress decorated with flowers and stars (right)
A bookmaker takes bets on the colour of the Queen’s hat choice on Ladies Day, and it turned out that those who chose pink backed a winner
Finally Her Majesty gave betters something to smile about by turning up in a fuchsia hat and coat.
The Queen is attending the event without her husband Prince Philip who has been discharged from hospital after being admitted as a ‘precaution’.
The royal patriarch, who is to retire from public duties later this year, was driven by car to a private London hospital on Tuesday as a precautionary measure concerning a pre-existing condition.
Pink is the favourite for the colour of the Queen’s Ladies Day hat, but she’s defied predictions so far and may surprise punters for a third day running
Onlookers eagerly anticipate the first race of the day, with this afternoon’s Gold Cup being the highlight
‘I can confirm that the Duke of Edinburgh left hospital this morning,’ a spokesman told AFP. He was driven away from a rear exit.
Prince Philip was at Windsor Castle on Tuesday when he was taken to King Edward VII’s Hospital. He was said to have been in good spirits inside.
He was expected to return to Windsor, where he is due to rest.