Watching the races:

You are never too old to see something new. We can find interesting and a lot of the time, educational life experiences everywhere. Well this might not be up there with educational but it was one thing we had never seen in real life, “Greyhound Racing”

We are staying in the showgrounds and the “dogs” race here every Tuesday.

With the race track just behind the van we didn't have to go far.

With the race track just behind the van we didn’t have to go far.

So why are we still here you ask? A phone call to Aussie Wide had us extending our visit to Horsham for a few more days. They only opened this week after the Christmas break and are shut Thursday and Friday due to Australia Day. So we won’t be going into Melbourne until Monday morning.

Now I have done my share of attending horse racing which I find exciting. I loved going to Caloundra races, taking the kids and even once took Mum and Nola. Mum was 72 and it was her first time seeing a horse race live. We were never statistics people and usually  “Guessed the winner” Mum and Nola’s way was to choose the jockey with the prettiest colours. As you can guess we weren’t gamblers.

Walking around the enclosure before the race. At this stage everybody is still a winner.

Walking around the enclosure before the race. At this stage everybody is still a winner.

So just like the horses the dogs would come out just before the race and walk around in the closure. Now I didn’t find this as exciting as the horses. The horses are spirited, brushed to a glimmering shine and then the jockey’s come out to find their mounts. They are in their silks of many colours and you still have the expectation of everybody is a winner. Last minute techniques are being passed on to the jockey’s before they lead the horses on to the course. The grounds are usually green and well fertilised with roses or some other flowers in abundance. I find the whole picture mesmerising.  With the announcement “They’re racing” the thrill of hearing the thundering hoofs on the ground coming closer, of people cheering and hearing the race caller tell the unfolding story of how each horse and rider are going I find electrifying. How they can remember each horse’s name or even keep track of where they are amazes  me.

So the dogs in the closure weren’t as exciting. I did wonder if they got last minute tips from the owners or just the tip “You better win or you’re Thai food.” I’m not even sure they were the owners as the group that took them out wore green coats for “GO” maybe? And the ones who caught them wore red for “STOP”?

Notice the "green" coats for go.

Notice the “green” coats for go.

The dogs were lead out on to the course, once they were past the catching area the gate was shut behind them. They took off with the usual “They’re racing” but there was no thundering hoofs, just silence, as these dog’s, bred for speed, chased this orange fluffy toy tied on to the mechanical arm. I did notice that the speed of the “rabbit” depended on the speed of the dogs. It would slow down a bit if they lag behind, but usually the race was over before you had time to blink. The commenter had called the race in less than 30 sec.

"And they're racing"

“And they’re racing”

 

Ever wondered what the dogs are thinking?

Ever wondered what the dogs are thinking?

Then the dogs ran into the closed gate as another gate shut behind them. You could almost hear them saying “Where did it go, where did it go?” as the Red coats went out to catch them.

The "red coats" catching the dogs after the race.

The “red coats” catching the dogs after the race.

There wasn’t the crowds and I didn’t notice anybody dressed up for the occasion. I don’t think any anybody would go and spend 100’s of $$$ on a hat to wear to a race meet. But like everything in life, you are never to old to learn or do something new. So this was my new…Greyhound racing in Horsham.