Thursday 5 September 2013

A Day At The Races

I can't believe it was two weeks ago already!

Our day started with me being uber lazy and not wanting to get out of bed - I told G I was jet lagged. Ha ha, one hour flights do that to me every time :)

Finally, off we ventured to Hastings Park, home of Hastings Racecourse, and of course the Pacific National Exhibition, along with Playland (an amusement park) and for Vancouver Canucks fans, their previous venue, the Pacific Coliseum.

The racing didn't start until 2PM, so we had a couple of hours to tour the PNE. We entered to win the prize home lottery (fingers crossed!), checked out the livestock barns, and generally milled about with the rest of the fairgoers. I was disappointed not to see any draft horses in the barns, although we did see part of the 4-H light horse show which was neat. After a veggie burrito which turned out to not be veggie at all (boo!), we decided to go for a ride on the roller coaster. It's a super cool old wooden one that apparently is on most hard core roller coaster fans bucket lists. I love it because its old and rickety and rattley and so very much fun! I'm not sure what was different this time, but The Coaster beat me up good :( I got a huge bruise all across my chest from getting slammed into the restraining bar thingy repeatedly. Still, it was awesome, and made for a great story at the beach. "Oh this little thing...yeah, got it riding a roller coaster" lol. It made a refreshing change from all the horse related bruises I usually sport on vacation.

At last, it was time to head over to the track and admire all the beautiful TBs. With the fair going on next door, I have to think these particular thoroughbreds are pretty much bombproof. There's a ride called "The Hellevator" right outside the paddock that lifts people way way up over top of everything and then randomly drops them. The sound of it kept scaring me, but the horses were totally oblivious lol.

"3 year old TB gelding. Has some get up and go, but Hellevator safe"
As you can see from the pictures, the weather was typical dark and gloomy Vancouver weather, so the pictures live up to my usual low standard. Coming from a baking hot sweaty prairie summer, I admit I enjoyed the luxury of wearing a light coat and the excuse of staying warm by snuggling up to G in the stands :)
This jockey made up pretty great save when his horse got away from the outrider and had a bit of a meltdown. Very well ridden and they managed to get settled enough to start and place.
Resident eye candy. Horse is obviously gorgeous and I am told the rider was a pretty good looking guy. You can see where my priorities were, though ;) Sorry good-looking-guy-with-no-head!

All in all, we had a really great afternoon horse watching and I saw more than one I wanted to take home. I make a bit of a hobby of watching how they move warming up and trying to predict what the outcome of the race will be. That day, I was good enough at it to buy G a nice steak dinner :)


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