Visit to the Royal Calcutta Turf Club

Calcutta served as the Capital of British India for the major part of its rule. As a result, there was a huge army presence in the city and being a cavalry based army, horse dependent sports like hunting, polo and racing were naturally popular.

So, it is logical that one of the oldest and most arguably most prestigious Turf Clubs in India, the Royal Calcutta Turf Club, was founded way back in 1847. Records of horse racing in Calcutta go as far back as 1769 in the suburbs of Akra, where they were held for around 40 years, before racing was briefly banned by Governor Lord Richard Wellesley in 1798. But, horse racing was soon back after a short gap of 5 years, and it moved to the present area of Maidan in 1809.

The Royal Calcutta Turf Club was founded in 1847 to regulate all aspects of horse racing in Calcutta. Calcutta was the first place in the subcontinent to hold a Derby Race, called the Calcutta Derby Stakes, which was discontinued and replaced by the Viceroy’s Cup in 1856. In time it came to wield a lot of authority and was at par with the Jockey Club in England, with respect to arbitration about rules and regulations. In its heydays, the races organised by the RCTC were inaugurated by the Viceroy of India. In 1912, the race was attended by King George V and the club added “Royal” to its name.

The races continue to this day, and the race on 1st January is attended by the who’s who of Calcutta in their finest western attire.

I had the opportunity to witness the 1st January Derby this year, and managed to capture some of the moments.

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Royal Calcutta Turf Club

 

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Crowds making their way to the RCTC

 

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Moving into the Stands

 

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Placing Bets for the Races

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Waiting for the Race to start

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Inside view of the RCTC

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Lady in a fancy hat

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Lady in fancy hat- 2

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Mobile phones are prohibited, unless you pay a hefty fee…then you have to wear the yellow tag…

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Horse for the Course

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Jockeying into position..

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Making their way for the Race…

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All set…

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And here we go…

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View from the Stands

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Waiting for the horses to come into view..

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3 Girls in Shades…forgive the yawn 🙂

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And here they come!!

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View from the Screen…

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Waiting with baited breath…

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The excitement building up…

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Closer they come….

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Crowd gets more excited…

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Closer still…

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Nervous laughs…

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View from the rear

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Anybody’s race….

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And we have a winner!!!!

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The clenched fist says it all…

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The trot back into the stables…

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And a winning moment captured…

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Ladies make way for the after party…

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And some pose for Know-All…

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While others enjoy their Beer!

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And the Band sings…Susanna…but way off tune!

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But they have enthusiasm!

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Lady in Blue Dress

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Lady with round shades…

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Putting on the Photographer’s Hat!

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Which way do we go?

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Do you wanna dance?

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But first…let’s take a Selfie! 🙂

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Mother and Daughter Moment

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Hello…goodbye!

Hope you enjoyed the captures! 🙂

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11 thoughts on “Visit to the Royal Calcutta Turf Club

    • Thank you Hazel!!! As I keep telling everyone, if you ever plan to come to Kolkata…I would recommend that you do so in winter…and yes, then you can even witness the 1st January Race at the RCTC! 🙂

  1. Pingback: Early Morning in Delhi, India – Cardinal Guzman

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