Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hastings Horse Races!

Last Friday I crossed off yet another one of my bucket list
adventures, by getting a group of my friends together
to experience the Hastings Horse Races

One thing that I should point out is that,
since growing up as a Audrey Hepburn fan,
and a romantic idealist at heart,
up until this point I thought that horse races looked something like this :

... And to tell you the truth they totally seemed like that to me
... If I blocked out the DJ blasting top 40 tunes and the beer garden directly to our left,
It looked exactly like this scene out of "My Fair Lady" in my minds eye.

 Our bevy of friends totally fit the bill,
there dressed in our Sunday best, 
we got wholeheartedly into the excitement of the races.
As we started to get a grasp on the betting systems, 
and began to wager on our winning horses,
that's when the real games began.

There is something about even putting down a mere twoonie on a horse,
which gives you that thrill for the outcome.
Sometimes it was two dollars, others it was twenty...
Sometimes we won,
but mostly we lost...
Although that last reality didn't really matter to us.
Its was more about the passion for the thrill at hand,
 flowing through our veins,
then that ticket burning a hole in our pocket. 

For some though I could see their passion driving their bets,
their savings riding like jockey's on their horse's backs.
One gentleman in particular drew attention to himself when we first entered
the arena, as he screamed out a horses name,
threw down his cup, and raced up to the front of the lines to continue his bellowing.
My roommate turned to me and acclaimed that she
"bet his rent money is riding on that horse",
and the sad part is that she was probably right about that.

With the amount of alcohol being passed around,
paired with the hidden massive casino behind the box seats
and the well dressed attendees of the race. 
Money was in the air.

For our group of friends,
the race was a fun way to spend a Friday night,
but to some the races are a lifestyle
that in some ways
I hope never to fully understand. 

Little facts that I didn't know about horse races before I attended one :

- That a horse race is only 2 laps and that there is around a half an hour break between races
- That a horse only races once in an evening 
-That jockeys are an average of 115 lb's and are hired by horse owner's to ride/control their horses,
and are paid regardless of the outcome of the race
-To always hold onto you tickets till the end of the night just in case 
one of the horses is disqualified for an early gate start

Even though it will take me a few more times to get the 
whole system comfortably down,
my first experience was one to remember,
and I am looking forward to my next time on the sidelines 
of a horse race.

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