Sunday, July 7, 2013

Racing Horses, Just to Race Horses

A buddy of mine named Norm Files (@normf66 on twitter) is a huge racing fan. Harness, quarterhorse, thoroughbred, it doesn't really matter. I'd run into Norm at the track sometime and he'd fill me in about his vacation, which 99 times out of 100 was via the car, somewhere that had some track with horses racing.

The last time I spoke to him he hit the fair circuit in Indiana, if I remember correctly. I'm a fan, but I don't much want to go to a fair track somewhere, some of which do not even allow wagering. But for Norm? He loves it.

Maybe I am getting older or more seasoned, but I kind of understand what Normie is about now.

This weekend in HRU was a little story about racing horses in a place where no one gets rich, no one gets headlines or stud deals, or makes stakes payments that can total the GDP of a small country. It's in the Maritimes in eastern Canada.

For the full story, it's on page 5 (pdf). 

Interestingly enough, not only are races like the ones discussed in the piece occurring each week, there's also the unexpected. Last Friday evening, at a training center on Cape Breton Island, a bunch of folks got together for some schooling races. There were some sponsors, maybe a prize or two, some good food, and of course, a beverage or three.

What you have are people showing up to a race, not to bet, not to gain fame or riches, not to yell at a track exec or driver or trainer ; just people showing up for racing. It's pretty cool.

The following photos should give you a glimpse into the action. If you like racing and horses - if you are a Norm - you'd love this place.
Off they go

Lotsa people out on a beautiful evening

The starting gate looks like two ladders, I think

Last race of the day is under saddle
Refreshments, of course

Programs and sponsors. Yep.

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend.

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