The Melbourne Cup Is Decadent And Depraved

Photo credit: Scott Barbour/Getty
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You may have read Hunter S. Thompson’s famous article recounting the rampant debauchery at the Kentucky Derby and thought you’d glimpsed the true, beating heart of insane white people shit. But you’d have been mistaken. It’s not until you see these photos of the Melbourne Cup, Australia’s most drunken and depraved horse racing event, that you can really understand just how out of hand the whites can get.

The Melbourne Cup is similar to the United States’ Kentucky Derby, in that it is Australia’s most prestigious horse race. Also like the Kentucky Derby—both of which follow the proud British tradition of getting equal parts dolled and fucked up at horse races—it is a perfect event for young and old alike to don their finest of outfits and guzzle copious amounts of alcohol. The entire state of Victoria even gets the day off from work, since Melbourne Cup day has been decreed an official local holiday.

There is a lot of booze. There is a lot of littering. There is a lot of smiling. There is, for whatever reason, a whole lot of falling/lying on the ground. All of these factors combined create opportunities for some marvelous photography:

Update: As wild of a time as it may have been, at least they Aussies still had each other’s backs: