The Cape Town Met is widely regarded as one of the most notable and distinguished social events in the Mother City. It is an essential horse racing competition held in the Western Cape. Attendees go to the yearly event because it always showcases high-end couture and other flashy elements. Please continue reading to learn more about the nation’s oldest horse race and why it has retained its popularity over the years. It is almost unfathomable why this event is so well attended!

The Sheer Excitement of It All

A sight of dazzling vibrancy and strong thrill surrounded by a maelstrom of sensory excess that quickens the heartbeat. This is the essence of J&B Met day at Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town on the last Saturday of January. It is a meeting of the affluent and famous fashionistas and tens of thousands of people who want to discover the intensity of life in the bustling masses. It allows the crowds to feel the excitement of the thundering hooves and physical might of the magnificent thoroughbreds as they battle for glory in the largest race on the southernmost point of Africa. Over 50,000 people are drawn to the magnificent environment where, for decades, towering stallions and their small pilots have battled side-by-side in pursuit of victory. This is horse racing at its pinnacle. This is the J&B Metropolitan.

There Is Something for Everyone

More than 300 unique stores may be found in Cape Town. Advertising showcases at the J&B Met are attended by representatives from both Johannesburg and Durban. During what is often one of the slowest months for the South African fashion industry, the event delivers a substantial boost to the fashion industry breathing new life into it. A significant number of South African fashion designers produce whole collections just for the J&B Met.

The Event Provides a Lot of Revenue 

Since 1977, J&B has been a sponsor of the J&B Met. At first sight, 39 years may not seem like a very long time, yet this is the world’s longest-running sports sponsorship! The J&B Met has a substantial economic impact. Wesgro, the official destination marketing, investment and trade promotion agency for the Western Cape, estimated that the economic impact of the 2013 J&B Met for the City of Cape Town and the region was a staggering R68 million, with this number increasing steadily every year. The event has already been postponed twice, first in 1986 due to equine influenza and secondly in 2004 due to African Horse Sickness. They took responsibility and safety so seriously that, in 2002, the venue’s gates were locked in the middle of the day and ‘house full’ signs were up because no more people could be allowed securely!

The Rich History

Green Point Common was the initial location of the Metropolitan Mile. English troops sent to the Cape Garrison served as jockeys. This makes it the nation’s oldest horse race. Fun fact only one horse has ever won the J&B Met three consecutive years. Mike Bass’s Pocket Power won the J&B Met in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Politician, a horse, trained by Syd Laird that won the J&B Met in 1978 and 1979, held the record before. As stated above, Pocket Power took another 30 years to duplicate Politician’s back-to-back J&B Met victories, which occurred in 2007 with the well-named horse Pocket Power since he was smaller than most of the competition the stallion was up against. 

The fact that all three racetracks have to come to a halt in front of the grandstands at the Kenilworth Racecourse, where there is only one spot to pull up, is one of the most distinctive characteristics of the venue that holds the J&B Metropolitan. The racetrack is also located on a 52-hectare nature reserve, which is home to the most well-preserved piece of Cape Flats Sand Fynbos in the world, in addition to hundreds of other types of flora and fauna, including twenty species that are listed as endangered species. In addition, the nature reserve is home to hundreds of other types of flora and fauna, including twenty species listed as endangered.

As a nationally famous social event, the J&B Met has grown so popular in recent years that the gates of Kenilworth Racecourse had to be locked mid-afternoon and “house full” signs were displayed after more than 50,000 people are jammed into the scenic site.

On par with all the world’s greatest athletic and social events, the J&B Met is a celebration of beauty and grandeur – a gathering of the magnificent thoroughbreds and the beautiful people who come in their hundreds to Kenilworth Racecourse to be a part of this very unique occasion.

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