The annual J&B Met is more than just a horse racing event. It is a gathering of socialites and one of the major fashion extravaganzas of the year. This year, the J&B Met celebrated its thirtieth anniversary of racing in the style and glamour that has always been associated with this event. On 26 January 2008, the Kenilworth Racecourse and the entire Cape Town, will be gearing up for another breathtaking day of horse racing and designer clothing.
J&B Rare Scottish Whiskey has been the sponsor of the J&B Met for many years. Their story did not start thirty years ago, but way back in 1749 when Giacomo Justerini moved to London. Here he founded a wine business and which was awarded its Royal Warrants in 1760. Alfred Brooks, saw the advertisement for whiskey in 1779, and bought Johnson and Justerini. Brooks changed the company’s name to Justerini and Brooks, and this is how J&B Rare was born. Justerini and Brooks also raised the race stakes to R2 million, in celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the J&B Met, enlarging the pot of gold, waiting at the end of the racecourse rainbow.
Some of the country’s best horses can be seen running the 2,000 meter racecourse, and competition on the racecourse is just as nail biting as the competitiveness off the track. As mentioned before, there is more to the J&B Met, than just horses and racing. Firstly, because of the competition for best dressed being one of the popular events, designers in Cape Town are supported and exposed through their designs for their clients. Justerini and Brooks also have competitions running for retail outlets and stores that advertise and display J&B merchandise and products during the weeks running up to the race.
Not many people may be aware that the forty-five hectares on which the Kenilworth Racecourse is situated, is home to approximately 275 plant species that are indigenous to South Africa. What is even more interesting is that twenty-two of those species are on the Red Data plant list, meaning that these plants are facing extinction. The Kenilworth Racecourse is therefore in the process of being declared a Nature Reserve by Gold Circle, ensuring the survival of these rare plant species in South Africa.
So, by bringing attention to horses, racing, fashion and the environment, the J&B Met has become a spectacular event that is well supported by the public. And for those who are not familiar with horse racing, it is a wonderful opportunity to experience this sport, amidst the glitz and glamour of the spectators.