Title Partner, Official Timekeeper and Watch for the sixth consecutive year, Longines once again added elegance to timekeeping with its celebration of the most renowned filly race in the world – the Prix de Diane Longines. The event took place on June 19 at the majestic Chantilly castle estate and stable grounds 38 km north of Paris.
“Elegance is an attitude” asserts the Swiss watch brand, and elegance began for us on the platform of the Gare du Nord in Paris, where our plush private Longines train was waiting to bring guests to the small town of Chantilly also known for its lace and cream. Upon arrival, horse-drawn carriages brought us to the entrance of the racecourse grounds, just in time to see Longines Ambassador of Elegance and Asian movie star Eddie Peng arrive in his chauffeur – driven classic MGA.
Now in its 167th year, the Prix de Diane – today known as the Prix de Diane Longines – is also famous for its elegant ladies, who traditionally wear a hat to attend. Colourful creations of feathers and flowers in all shapes and sizes dotted the crowds that enjoyed ultra-chic picnic lunches amid a garden party of amusements that ranged from a live concert of French folk duo “Brigitte” to a Ferris wheel, croquet, table tennis, swings, and giant outdoor dominos. As a sign of utmost elegance, the skies, though often grey, were politely dry throughout the day.
Nine exciting races took place in front of a crowd of 35,000 enthusiastic spectators who cheered on N°. 10: “La Cressonière” in the fifth race of the day – the Prix de Diane Longines – as she and jockey Christian Demuro raced for victory in a heated competition with speeds of up to 60 km/hour.
The Prix de Diane Longines is a Group I race – the highest category of horse race, open to the best 3-year old fillies in Europe. It also offers the highest purse of the day with more than half the total EUR 1 million prize-money going to the winner. Ambassador Peng, Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, and Charles Villoz, Vice President of Longines, awarded watches from The Longines Master Collection to Owner Antonio Caro, trainer Jean-Claude Rouget and jockey Demuro, while Edouard de Rothschild, President of France Galop, and Jean-Pierre Colombu, Vice President of France Galop, awarded them the Trophy of the Prix de Diane Longines.
Another much-awaited competition of the day is that of “Mademoiselle Diane par Longines”. This year, it was Alexia Masseron who was selected as the most elegant lady at the racecourse, winning with her title the Longines DolceVita watch – the Official Watch of the event – cased in stainless steel, decorated with diamonds, featuring a silver-coloured “flinqué” dial adorned with painted Roman numerals, showing hours, minutes and small seconds at 6 o’clock, and set on a red leather bracelet.
In partnership with France Galop, Longines is the Official Timekeeper for the racing days organized at the Chantilly, Deauville and Longchamp racetracks, including the Prix du Jockey Club and the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, which will be held exceptionally at Chantilly on Oct 2, 2016.
And for those of you who missed the Prix de Diane Longines, here is a 2’30 video of extracts from the day and the race. Enjoy!