From its modest start hosting a seven-horse race in 1711, The Courtyard Ascot Racecourse has become the main stage for thoroughbred horse racing in Europe. Located in Berkshire, England, only 6 miles from Windsor Castle, it hosts the famous Royal Ascot races. These draw 300,000 people annually over five days. Each year sees 13 other Group 1 horse races run over the course. The Royal Enclosure originated in 1807 as reserved accommodations for King George III and family plus guests. This also marked the inaugural year of the Gold Cup, still a hallmark Ascot race. The Queen Elizabeth II Grandstand opened in 1961 and underwent major renovations to modernize and enlarge it in 2006. Ascot Racecourse also hosts special events such as live concerts centred around particular horseraces, jump races and beer festivals.