Day 104 (12 October 2010) – Down The Stretch They Come!

I held the camera out and took this picture of myself AND the horses coming down the stretch during the second race of the opening of the fall racing season at the Hippodrome in Nantes. Incredible, I know. It’s what I’d call a “picture perfect” day. Let me just say my grin is attached permanently for this one. All today needed was my dad.

It took me 20 minutes to walk from our front door to the admissions gate at the track, including time to snap photos along the way (I very well may document this day in an online photo album, and I even uploaded some video I shot at the track today to YouTube). Once inside, I familiarized myself with the surroundings and then watched the horses get saddled for the first race. All together, there were eight races – 6 flats, 1 jump, & 2 steeplechases, all on the grass. And, man, are those steeplechases something. Three times around and over a variety of jumps. I’ve never seen anything like it. Melinda biked over to join me for the two steeplechases, and Ella walked from school in time to see the final one.

Yes, I walked to the racetrack, Melinda biked to the racetrack, and Ella caught the last race by walking from school. This may very well be the Smallman idea of heaven.

Regarding my homework: The first race today was at 1:55pm (but the start time varies). It cost me 5€ to get in, including a program. A Racing Form is called Paris-Turf and costs 1,60€. A beer is 2,20€ and is served in a glass (as is the wine, poured from a bottle). There is also a crêpe truck but I opted for a jambon beurre. For those interested, I didn’t place any bets.

Still, I was a big winner today.

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