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The Deighton Cup: A Weekend at the Races

The Deighton Cup: A Weekend at the Races

Photo courtesy www.the-sociallife.com (Photo by Viranlly Liemena)

Although The Deighton Cup is now in its fifth year, this was my first time attending… and boy, have I been missing out! Every August, the who’s who of Vancouver make their way out to the Hastings Race Course for a weekend of fashion, food, cocktails, cigars, and (of course) horse races. The Deighton Cup is comprised of three nights – the first being The Big Smoke on Friday, followed by the Thoroughbred (the “big” event) on Saturday, and concluding with The Julep on Sunday.

The Big Smoke sets the standard for the Deighton weekend, where one can puff away on a fine cigar, swirl around a tumbler of scotch like you’re part of the ‘Mad Men’ cast, enjoy a nice dinner with beautiful people, and of course, throw down some bets on the races! And this is just the beginning…

The Thoroughbred is the main event of the weekend, where Vancouver’s finest are dressed to the nines. At the Thoroughbred, you wouldn’t believe that you were in “one of the worst-dressed cities in North America,” because my God, Vancouver – you looked GOOD! The people watching alone was worth the $75 ticket price – women looked gorgeous in big hats, bigger sunglasses, gloves and fascinators, while the gents looked dapper in bowties, blazers, suspenders and newsboy caps. It felt like I was at a summer party in the Hamptons and the Kentucky Derby all at the same time! The event was a fun excuse to get dressed up, but anyone who knows me well, knows that my closet is comprised of black, white and grey… Color is strange and foreign to me, so naturally I went for a retro black-and-white outfit for the day.

After a few glasses of Veuve Clicquot and a beer or two from Whistler Brewing Co (side note: I’m now addicted to their Whiskey Jack Ale), I decided it would be a good idea to place a few bets. Fast forward ten minutes later, when I lost every single bet I placed due to the fact that I know absolutely nothing about horses… or gambling, for that matter! So naturally I went back to the bar. The rest of the afternoon was spent smoking cigars, sipping champagne, taking in some live music, mingling and enjoying the sunshine – so basically if you like well-dressed people, good cocktails, cigars, food and music (which should be all of you) – you really need to get a ticket to next year’s Thoroughbred! We also hit up the after party, The After Track at Imperial Club (put on by CanThrill Move The Crowd). Not gonna lie – that part of the day’s a bit of a blur! But it certainly was nice to see everyone in a bit of a more laid back environment, cutting loose and having fun!

The Julep (Sunday’s event) is more of an industry event, where mixologists and bartenders compete in a cocktail competition for a cash prize (and, of course, bragging rights!) The Mint Julep is a popular summer drink that Kentucky Derby-goers are familiar with – so the competition pitted Vancouver’s finest bartenders against one another to put a new “spin” on the classic cocktail. Ultimately Sean McGuigan of The Clough Club took home top honors for his drink called The Guiterrez’.

The Deighton Cup is easily one of the most important social weekends of the summer in Vancouver. This may have been my first time making it out, but it most certainly will not be my last! Keep an eye out on www.deightoncup.com for updates and announcements about 2014′s festivities!