Revolutionary racing silks showcased in live Ascot race!
Spectators at Ascot on Saturday 9th July were treated to something very different when the ‘Central Saint Martins Design Challenge Stakes’ came under orders. The race was the finale of a competition to find innovative new designs for jockey silks from the prestigious design college in London, with the winner, Henry Griffin’s colours taking centre stage on the historic Berkshire course.
Forget the hoops, stripes and circles that have been familiar on jockeys’ outfits for almost 250 years, these colours were inspired by fruit machines with oranges, lemons and cherries, the number seven and a lucky horse shoe all featuring.
The designs of the racing silks, the colours worn by jockeys at horse races, has not changed much since they were first introduced in 1762 to help race judges identify runners. Now the fruit machine-inspired silks, created by third-year BA (Hons) Graphic Design student Henry, 21, from Loughton, Essex, have won a competition run by us to create a 21st century look for Britain’s jockeys.
Winner Henry says the inspiration for his designs came from trips to the bookies in Loughton with his dad, Perry.
Henry said: “I was about 14 and wasn’t allowed in the betting shop but I always remember looking through the door. There’d be racing on the TV and a fruit machine in the corner. To my mind betting on horseracing and playing fruit machines go together, the link just clicked in my head.
“The colours have to be vibrant and easily identifiable by the crowd, so I made the fruits and symbols on the silks as bold as possible. I took a lot of time designing the caps, because they are very important in seeing the jockeys from a long way away.”
Rod Street, Chief Executive of Racing Enterprises Limited, added: “Henry’s designs caught our eye from the outset, not to say that this was by any means an easy competition to judge. Each of the designs presented by the students have been outstanding in their own, unique way, and we’ve spent weeks eagerly looking through the students’ work. They’ve well and truly earned their Central Saint Martins reputation on this occasion!”
The race was won in dramatic fashion with Directorship taking victory by a head in grape adorned colours.
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