Show Day 2013

November 12, 2013

Well, I got my wee little fascinator pinned on and we were off to the races yesterday! Apparently the 2nd Tuesday of November is the New Zealand Trotting Cup day, as well as the kick off to the annual NZ Cup and Show week. So we were at more of an event than I realized.

After brunch with friends, we taxi’d over to Addington Raceway- where horse races and other large public events are held in Christchurch. Everyone looked like they were dressed for a British wedding, and lots of people seemed like they’d already drank all the champagne.

Addington Raceway on a warm race day (aka, not yesterday) Via
Welcome to the races (via)

After a quick peruse of the venue we decided to place some bets. $2 for the win (lower odds, better payout) or $2 for the place (better odds, lower payout). And with a lot of help from my co-workers, we learned a little about trotting.

The horse is only allowed to “trot”, not gallop or run. I guess this would be obvious to someone else, but I was seriously wondering why they looked to be going so slow. With trotting, the jockey sits in a sulky (which looks remarkably like a rickshaw to me- but don’t tell them that) instead of on the horse. And that’s all I learned.
There are little books you can buy when you bet that give you the horse’s recent statistics, its age, where its from, who trained it, etc. Someone much more interested educated than I could really formulate calculated bets with all of the info provided. I bet based 90% by horse name and jockey jersey, and 10% by past statistics.
Two horses battling for the win- unfortunately I hadn’t bet on either of them. (Via)
This was my first horse race, and I’m not really sure what to think of it. I could see how it would be fun if you really understood the statistics and the tactics. Scott’s theory is that betting is encouraged so people will be interested in horse racing at all. By the end of the day we had spent $16 on betting and won $12 of it back. And we probably stayed an hour or two longer than we would have without betting- so there you go. Theory proven.
The flip side to the horse racing was the fashion. NZ Cup Week is considered to be the fashion event of the year, and as I mentioned before, ladies spend a ridiculous amount of time and money on their attire. This year’s fashion winner said she found the fabric for her dress in March, and has been planning the outfit around it since then. She hired a dressmaker and style team.
2013 Best Dressed man and woman (Via)

Unfortunately for all of us, the usually sunny Cup Week weather didn’t come along. The high yesterday was apparently 15 (59 degrees F) but a wicked wind made it feel much cooler all day long. We kept warm huddled together drinking champagne, but I admit when I got home I was chilled to the bone.

Photos from our lawn (cheap) seats.

So now I’ve experienced the races.

It was interesting… the fashion and the betting were entertaining for a few hours. But in a way it was like being at a really fancy fair. Until it was 4pm and the heels were off, the mascara was running, and the stumbling was in full effect. Of note: we were on the lawn- basically the kids’ seats. I’m sure there was a much different picture in the big glass building with the high rollers and mezzanine seating…
But you just kind of sit around, and don’t do anything. I’ve got jumpy legs today. I’m not much of a spectator. I’m not much of a competitor of anything either, but I’d just rather be doing something. Is that bad? Does that make me anti-social?
Anyways, fashion shots from our little group:
Trying not to look cold.
Matleena keeping warm
Ollie so should have won men’s fashion.
My $5 fascinator in all her petite glory!

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