"The weather is always good," said Henkel CEO Hans van Bylen and Mayor Thomas Geisel in unison in the tea house. A wonderful Sunday with 28 degrees and sunshine attracted crowds of people, because the Diana Prize offers exciting top-class sport in a dreamlike environment, and is also highly endowed. The main race was about half a million euros, but at the same time there was a very relaxed atmosphere. Ladies with unusual hat creations staggered past families with a glass of wine in their hands, who had made themselves comfortable on a blanket in the meadow after the visit to the children's face painting. A total of 20,000 visitors came to the major event on the racetrack. A highlight was the hat competition, in which a good 130 women took part this time – a record! District President Brigitta Radermacher was also able to impress with her creation and won a prize.
Around 350 people had already accepted the invitation from the Düsseldorf group, which has a very original connection to the racetrack, by midday. Because company founder Fritz Henkel, after whom one of the nine races was named on Sunday, was a member of the riding and racing club, as the current chairman Peter-Michael Endres said in his welcome address. With more than 20,000 guests expected, Endres himself was in a great mood, which got even better after the first race. Because then "Virginia Joy" won, the horse belongs to Endres and his partner Karl-Dieter Ellerbrake. In total, the two men own a whopping 130 horses, and the stable was represented in four races.
Betting is part of the racecourse, and there was a special betting counter in the tea house. For the Düsseldorf member of the state parliament Markus Weske (SPD), the visit almost turned into work. He eagerly studied the information booklet and bet a few euros here and there, the budget was a total of 50 euros. The politician raved about "the most beautiful racetrack in Europe" and is often a guest there. Last year he even pocketed 250 euros in a race. In the main race he believed in the subsequently nominated "Durance".
HWK President Andreas Ehlert said that he was there with ten euros. "I took a close look at the horses and it's great fun for me to bet money once a year, even if I usually lose the money." Broker Harry Robiné was in a good mood, holding a ticket for five euros in his hands , “also just for fun”, he also likes to experiment when playing the lottery. "I always get a five-week ticket." Düsseldorf Festival Director Christiane Oxenfort didn't want to risk more than eight euros. With her daughter Johanna Oxenfort she sat in the tea house with the best view of the racetrack - an extravagant hat adorned her head. Former university rector Brigitte Grass hoped to win and left ten euros at the cash register. "My daughter once won 800 euros in a horse bet, that spurs me on," she said, laughing. "It's all exciting." In a cheerful conversation with former Higher Regional Court President Anne-José Paulsen, it came out that she also tried her luck with five euros. "I chose Infamous Lawman because of my connection to my job." Restaurateur Giuseppe Saitta, who had also been a little bit caught by the betting virus, was also inflamed. Roger Klüh had bet on the horse Ismene, which won the top race for the Diana Grand Prix - however, the horse had thrown the jockey off at the start, and the mare had to be deprived of victory. "First of all, I'll clarify what happened to my winnings," said speedboat captain Klüh.
In addition to the exciting races, there was eager chatting.Thomas Röttgermann, CEO of Fortuna Düsseldorf, came from the season opening at Apollo-Platz and sat down next to Geisel and city director Burkhard Hintzsche Stefan Oschmann (Merck). Albrecht Woeste, an honorary citizen, was widely welcomed and applauded. Also present: North Rhine-Westphalia Finance Minister Lutz Lienenkämper, Mayor Klaudia Zepuntke (well again after breaking her leg), Udo Brockmeier (CEO of the Stadtwerke), Felix Droste (Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Rheinische Post Mediengruppe), Michael Becker ( Director Tonhalle), Fortuna legend Klaus Allofs and Peter Wienen (Kö residents). Wolfgang Rolshoven, the Baas of the Düsseldorf home club Jonges, was looking for members. "I would like to become five new people for my club, here is a good platform."
Source: RP Online