Royal Ascot Goat Race

The Royal Ascot Goat Races, held at the Speke Resort on the shores of Lake Victoria, have been an annual Kampala tradition since 1993. It’s arguably the biggest event on the Ugandan social calendar.

What to expect

The Royal Ascot Goat Race in Kampala, began in 1993. When Entebbe Sailing Club considered fund-raising ideas, they adopted the idea of a goat race which started out on the grounds of the Kampala Rugby Club with 400 people in attendance. By 1998, it outgrew this facility and was moved to Speke Resort Munyonyo, in 1999 and grossed ten million Uganda shillings and attracted over 7,000 people in 2005.

Along with size, the goat race also grew in scale. It quickly evolved into a whole day event modelled on the Royal Ascot horse races in Ascot England and a purse of more than 30 million UGX is awarded to the winning goat’s owners.

Similar to the Royal Ascot horse races, there is as much emphasis on dress, in particular unusual hats with prizes awarded to the best dressed couple, man, woman, and child, as well as to the person wearing the most extravagant hat and best goat name.

Spectators can also bet on goats through a preliminary parade around the track and a bettors’ guide that describes each goat, spectators can gauge possible winners. Proceeds from betting go to local charities. Along with goat races, there are hospitality and food tents as well as children’s amusements.