We went to a steeplechase race yesterday. It was fun! The horses are beautiful. The race is exciting. And most fun of all is observing the other by-standers.
As in the U.K., betting on horses is legal here. The race track has the betting windows that all tracks have but there are also representatives of the big booking agencies standing on “soap boxes” and taking bets. I suppose they give slightly better odds than the race track windows offer.
Before the races the horses are paraded around for observation by the crowd. Young trainers walk them around in a circle, allowing an “up close” view of the animals. Some of them are quite rambunctious, challenging their escorts for control.
The track is long – two times around is more than two miles. It’s a grass-covered oval with two hurdles near the viewing stands. The horses are walked from the barns to the opposite corner of the oval for the start of the race. They thundered past us once then crossed the finish line in front of us to end the second trip around the track.
Bee placed a one euro bet on a horse. The odds on it were 13 to 1 so when it came in second we thought she had won a bit of money. Unfortunately she had only bet on it to win, not to place or show, so she didn’t win anything. If she had she was going to put her winnings on a horse named “Dixie Highway” but instead we left. We should have stayed and bet! Dixie Highway won that race at odds of 7 to 1. Since Bee had planned to put $7 on that horse we would have had a nice dinner on the way home! (Instead we had pizza.)