horsing around.

The Daily Mail have expressed their disgust in the behaviour of patrons at this year’s Melbourne Cup, but is it just the Australian way?

The online giant news site posted images of racegoers passed out, pole dancing and littering the Flemington Racecourse yesterday, amongst the Spring Carnival action. Now, Australia’s reputation is making headlines in British news, suggesting that Aussies are ill-mannered and beyond control.

A racegoer planks.

Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, looked on at the action at the races, and seemed pleased about the spectacular site of the Australian environment in full swing, but The Daily Mail stated they would have been “shocked” if they had witnessed the behaviour of the crowd during yesterday’s major event.

Dozens of images were posted publicly of men and women conducting “mannerless” behaviour on the sidelines of one of the world’s most famous racetracks, with the headline: “And you thought Ascot was going to the dogs@ Things get a little messy at Aussies’ big day out at the Melbourne Cup”.

“Down by the course, men and women were flaked out on the grass after a boozy day,girls drank straight from champagne bottles–one even staged an impromptu pole dance–while the detritus from the day built up shamefully around them.”

British readers quickly jumped onto the site, labelling the behaviour as “disgusting”, another writing: “It is Australia, what do you expect”.

And now I’m angered.

Too much fun?

I enjoyed the day’s festivities on location at Flemington Racecourse yesterday, in all the right ways. I didn’t drink straight from the bottle, like some people I know, or pass-out and attract unwanted attention. I had a ball at this year’s Melbourne Cup, and as I watched on in the same way the royals did, I was proud to be Australian in that very moment.

The racecourse was speckled with happy faces and conversation amongst strangers, who were just enjoying the day’s fun of being at the annual Spring party. And now I find myself asking, is it fair for the British to litter the media spotlight with abusive headlines toward our nation, and abuse our integrity? Respect comes hand in hand, and it’s starting to look like The Daily Mail have forgotten what it is like to attend a party.

Here in Australia, we don’t sip on tea beside the infamous racetrack or “bravo” the winner as they stride across the finish line; we s make excessive noise, cheer excitedly, Gangnam Style across the lawn (or, was that just me?) and enjoy it all with a beer in hand. So a couple couldn’t quite keep up with the alcohol’s fuelling…who cares? I’m sure they woke in the rain after the race, cherishing every minute of their antics.

Of course, like all public appearances, there is a limit and are boundaries. Behaviour should be personally monitored, but yesterday’s event saw respectful, happy and in-the-moment behaviour which was nothing but tasteful. And as for women  snapped walking around with bare feet…clearly the author of Daily‘s feature was male.

Working in the media is a tough job, you learn to both love and hate it.



Photo credit: Daily Mail UK.