Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco was warmly welcomed on 22 April for Ladies Day at the Southern Suburbs and Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg.
Joined by her parents, Mike and Lyn Wittstock and a royal entourage from the Palais de Princier de Monaco, she witnessed the running of the Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes, which was won in a tight race by Norther Russia, ridden by jockey Craig Zackey.
Having grown up in Benoni, HSH Princess Charlene is no stranger to the Turffontein Racecourse and has enjoyed many visits with family and friends over the years.
Following the dramatic race – which saw Norther Russia win by 1.40 lengths over Bella Sonata – Princess Charlene made her way to the Winners Circle to present the trophy to owner Mary Slack. She was greeted by children from a local primary school and took the time to pose for photos with Racing Association CEO, Larry Wainstein and Racing Association Board member and Tellytrack CEO Rob Scott.
Beneficiaries of the Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes included projects close to Princess Charlene’s heart, including the Red Cross, Gugulesizwe Primary School and The Highveld Horse Care Unit.
Ladies Day at the Southern Suburbs and Turffontein racecourse also saw the running of the HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco Maiden Plate which was won by Cascapedia.
The enthusiastic racing crowd on the day included a number of notable South African public figures such as newly crowned Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Highlands Park Premier Soccer League coach Gordon Igesund and swimmer Terence Parkin. The latter no doubt having much to talk about with Her Serene Highness as Princess Charlene represented South Africa at the Olympics in Sydney in 2000 where she finished fifth in the 4 x 100 metre medley relay. HSH retired from competitive swimming in 2007.