Generally nowadays, most sports that I’ve seen in person in my life, I’ve seen both pre, and post transition. In fact I cant think of one that I’ve only seen post transition in truth. There are a few, that I only saw live in school years, because of being on school teams, so in those days, annual trips gave me the chance. The two I remember strongly are tennis at Wimbledon (I wasnt any good, but hardly anyone played, so others got the chance to go, to fill the coach), and athletics, because despite all my physical limitations, there was something about me, and a shot putt, that just clicked for a couple of years, so…Crystal Palace, for some competition saw me there once. The only other two that ring a bell in that sense, are football, because of course when I was young, all boys were expected to go to the game, so I had that initiation of life in my time. I cant see me ever going now, in truth, but never say never, and all that…
The other, and probably only sport that I havent been to post transition, and think that it might be fun to do so, is horse racing. Not because I have any great interest in the sport nowadays, but purely and simply because I think it would be fun, just once, to get dressed up nicely, and taken to the races. Or at least go, if nothing else. In truth, I cant remember the last time I went to the races in this country. I’m guessing it would be Newbury, at some point in 2001, as I working there at the time. In fact, I have been to 1 meeting since then, but it was in the US, at Philadelphia Park, and even that must be about 10 years ago, or more. That was fun, no entry fees! To be honest, I suspect that one of the reasons I havent yet fulfilled my ambition to go to the races in a nice dress, and shoes, is the cost of entry to meetings over here, especially the bigger ones. Yes, Yorkshire sensibilities with money, and spending it, probably play a part in that call.
There is also the factor that one of the major reasons for going to the races is the gambling side of it, and lets face it, I’m a once a year punter now, so…is it a silly thing to want to do? I guess its just one of those silly, completing the circle of life things that I feel I would love to do?
So what brought all this on, you ask? Well, most of my race going has been less than major meetings, with just one little exception, the Punchestown Festival, in Ireland. Yes, that started today. In truth, I watched one race, the fun one. Yes, the one over the cross country course, much more fun than standard racing lol! I went there a few times in the 90’s, never been back since, and now probably never will! Likewise, the only course I’ve never been to, that I would love to go to, is a quirky one. Yes, Laytown, on the beach. I know, you wouldnt wear a nice dress to go there, lol! Still would be on my dream list, but likely to go no further now, I suspect?
Will I complete that circle in life, who knows? If you asked me honestly, probably not. So many reasons its silly to want to do it, and just the one that makes me want to do it, but I’m sure unless I get free tickets somehow, will not get done, ah well. But, maybe…? All the same, dont expect me to wear heels, if I do! 😛 As for Royal Ascot, I really dont think so! Please, me, in a silly hat?
Fine, what would I go to the races for, but to be one of those beautiful dames, of course! So, 30’s musical time…
No, not Guinness, even if I guess it is. Nor them messing up the World Cup Rugby tournament again, though they may well do so, lol! That wouldnt be unique anyway!
No, this post relates to something that happens once a year (not Santa), somewhere a little north of Dublin.
I refer to the wonderfully unique delight that is Laytown races! Alright, for those who dont know, this isnt held at some race track, this is literally held on the beach! There is a joke that did the rounds that one year some wag reported the meeting cancelled as waterlogged, and then realised a few hours later, but as far as I know, that tale is pure fiction.
Nowadays, for safety reasons, all races are run on a straight course, no races longer than 7 furlongs (1400 metres appx), but in the old days, there used to be a round course, and the ‘far side’ of the track was prone to ‘flooding’ if racing got delayed at all, lol! Snag was, the sand on that part wasnt always solid enough to take a heavy, galloping racehorse, and a few tragedies did occur. It did look at one point as if this would end this unique event, but the compromise course now laid out has solved all those problems, I’m pleased to say.
Its one meeting I really want to go to, but I’ve been saying that for the best part of 30 years now, and still havent got there, for various reasons. But I really must one day, its something I so want to see, and not just on TV at work.
Here is a sample