It’s one week to go until equine excellence and spectacular style will magically collide at the Melbourne Cup 2023, the “race that stops the nation.” But racing royalty Gai Waterhouse has a lot to say about a controversial change to the traditional dress code.
From next Tuesday, members aged 12 or above will be permitted to wear shorts in the Flemington members area provided they meet these conditions – the shorts have to be tailored with a matching tie and jacket and they must sit on or below the knee.
Leading horse trainer Waterhouse has described the new rule, which breaks with decades of tradition, as “ridiculous” and the “silliest thing I’ve ever seen”.
She was also adamant that the new dress code was more suited for the beach than the races.
“I’m not going to Bondi Beach, or Altona. You’re coming here, you’ve got to dress for the occasion.”
“I saw the bloke [model] with the shorts on, and I thought, you’ve got to be joking. Maybe I’m old-fashioned.”
Australian racing royalty has scoffed at the decision to allow men to wear tailored shorts at the Melbourne Cup.
— 9News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) October 30, 2023
The controversial new clothing regulations and Waterhouse’s reaction were met with mixed feelings on social media from those who love the idea and many who don’t.
One praised Waterhouse for taking a stand and said, “Well done Gai”.
Another said, “Woman can’t wear pants then. Or have jobs, or be allowed out of the kitchen.”
“If this was men complaining about what women were wearing there would be an uproar. Absolute hypocrisy.”
“I am surprised because the VRC can be a little bit conservative, but time for change,” he said.
“It’s a a good thing.”