"It's always good weather," noted Henkel CEO Hans van Bylen and Lord Mayor Thomas Geisel in unison in the teahouse. A beautiful Sunday at 28 degrees and sunshine attracted people in droves, because the Prize of Diana offers exciting top-class sport in a dreamlike setting, and a high purse to boot. Half a million euros were at stake in the main race, but at the same time there was a very relaxed atmosphere. Ladies with fancy hat creations strolled past families with a glass of wine in their hands who had made themselves comfortable on a blanket on the lawn after visiting the children's face painting. A total of 20,000 visitors came to the major event at the racecourse. A highlight was the hat competition, in which a good 130 women took part this time - a record! Government President Brigitta Radermacher was also able to impress with her creation and picked up a prize.
Around 350 people had already accepted the invitation at midday from the Düsseldorf-based corporation, which has a very original connection with the racecourse. After all, company founder Fritz Henkel, after whom one of the nine races on Sunday was named, was already a member of the Reiter- und Rennverein, as the current chairman Peter-Michael Endres said in his welcoming speech. Endres himself was in the best of moods in view of the expected more than 20,000 guests, which increased even more after the first race. The horse belongs to Endres and his partner Karl-Dieter Ellerbrake. In total, the two men own no less than 130 horses, and the stable was represented in four races.
Betting is part of the racecourse, and a betting counter was set up especially in the teahouse. For Markus Weske (SPD), a member of the Düsseldorf state parliament, the visit almost degenerated into work. He eagerly studied the information booklet and wagered a few euros here and there; the total budget was 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 at one race. In the main race, he believed in the post-nominated "Durance".
HWK President Andreas Ehlert told us that he was in with ten euros. "I took a good look at the horses, and it's great fun for me to bet money once a year, too, even if I lose the money most of the time." In the best of moods was broker Harry Robiné, who held a ticket for five euros in his hands, "also just for fun", when playing the lottery he is also willing to experiment. "I always get a five-week ticket there." Düsseldorf Festival director Christiane Oxenfort didn't want to risk more than eight euros. With her daughter Johanna Oxenfort, she sat in the teahouse with the best view of the racecourse - an extravagant hat adorned her head. Ex-university rector Brigitte Grass was hoping for a win and left ten euros at the betting box. "My daughter once won 800 euros on a horse bet, so that spurs me on," she said with a laugh. "It's all exciting already." In a light-hearted conversation with former Higher Regional Court President Anne-José Paulsen, it came out that she also tried her luck with five euros. "Out of attachment to my profession, I put aug Infamous Lawman." Inflamed was also gastronome Giuseppe Saitta, who had also grabbed a very little bit of the betting virus.
Roger Klüh had bet on the horse Ismene, which took the victory in the top race for the Diana Grand Prix - however, the horse had thrown off the jockey at the start, and so the mare had to be stripped of the victory. "I will now first clarify what is with my win," said Speedboat captain Klüh.
In addition to the exciting races, there was eager chatting. Thomas Röttgermann, Chairman of the Board of Fortuna Düsseldorf, came from the season opening at Apollo-Platz and immediately sat down with Geisel and City Director Burkhard Hintzsche. Van Bylen and Henkel Supervisory Board Chairwoman Simone Bagel-Trah were able to welcome no less than two CEOs from other major corporations: Markus Steilemann (Covestro) and Stefan Oschmann (Merck). Also present were NRW Finance Minister Lutz Lienenkämper, Mayor Klaudia Zepuntke (well again after breaking her leg), Udo Brockmeier (Chairman of the Board of Stadtwerke), Felix Droste (Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Rheinische Post Mediengruppe), Michael Becker (Artistic Director of Tonhalle), Fortuna legend Klaus Allofs and Peter Wienen (Kö resident). Looking for members was Wolfgang Rolshoven, the Baas of Düsseldorf's home club Jonges. "Five new people I would like to become for my club, here is a good platform."
Source: RP Online