It's as easy as black & white!

1 Mar 2019
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

There isn’t much confusion about what to wear on Vodafone Derby Day – it is as easy as black and white.

It is a tradition stretching back generations. But why?

There are several theories as to where it started but whichever one is correct, it dates back long enough to be considered a tradition.

There are many Derby’s around the world and the original is the English Derby, named after the Earl of Derby. It was first run in 1780 with the Earl of Derby winning the race named after him in 1787, wearing his black and white silks.

That is where the tradition is believed to have started, to honour the Earl of Derby.

In this part of the world, it was adopted much later but there is still plenty of tradition.

In the 1960s there was a fashion competition run by the Woman’s Weekly for the best black and white outfit worn by a racegoer at the Victoria Derby. It was sponsored by whisky-maker James Buchanan and Co.

This simple competition for a £200 prize has had a long-lasting effect with the colour theme still considered the standard to this day.

Ever since the 60s, both the Victoria Derby and the New Zealand Derby have been black and white. It is not a dress code, you can get on course wearing other colours, but it is a guideline and a part of the tradition of the day.

Other theories include that it was inspired by the Audrey Hepburn movie My Fair Lady or that it was to mourn the death of King Edward VII.

Whichever theory is correct, it means you can’t go too far wrong this weekend when picking out your outfit for the Vodafone New Zealand Derby. It is as easy as black and white.

If you haven’t already, get your tickets for Vodafone Derby Day here

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