Tally ho!

We spent a couple of hours this afternoon at the 65th running of the Blue Ridge Hunt point-to-point races. If you are thinking that all sounds very equestrian, then you would be right. There is a great deal of horse country around Winchester – you might remember our trip to Middleburg to watch the hunt parade in early December – and many people in the surrounding counties own, train and race horses.

Woodley Farm, Berryville. Home to the 2014 Blue Ridge Hunt races.
Woodley Farm, Berryville. Home to the 2014 Blue Ridge Hunt races.

Point-to-point or steeplechase races, are for hunting horses and amateur riders and involve racing over fences.

Edie checks out the course while the riders in the first race check out the first jump.
Edie checks out the course while the riders in the first race check out the first jump.

Most of the spectators had paid to do what is known here in the United States as tailgating. That means parking your, usually, big vehicle in a prime viewing spot and hosting a mini party from out of the boot – or trunk as we call it in these parts. Groups of suitably horsey attired folk had chairs and tables set up alongside their cars, laden with food, drink and even beautiful flower arrangements!

Tailgaters in action. Notice our discreetly placed chiily bin in no ma's land!
Tailgaters in action. Notice our discreetly placed chilly bin in no man’s land!

Olive did an excellent job of consulting the program and telling us the names of each horse and rider. She particularly enjoyed matching up the descriptions of the color and patterns worn by each jockey as each horse made its way into the arena. “Oooo look that’s Zoe with the blue top that has a pink V on it and a blue and pink riding hat”. (Zoe went on to win her race which brought great delight to the girls!)

Riders in action.
Champion Zoe keeps an eye on her competition.
On the home straight - go Zoe!
On the home straight – go Zoe!

It was lots of fun and the girls found it very exciting, especially when two riders fell at the first jump. There was even a blow by blow commentary via loudspeaker and the traditional bugle call to announce the start of each race…

If it hadn’t been for the cold we would have stayed for all the races…might have to return next year for a spot of tailgating!

Tally ho!
Tally ho!

8 Replies to “Tally ho!”

  1. What a fab photo of you all despite the fact that you look frozen to death! I will have to print that one for my desk! Sending all my love. Jen xxxxx

  2. Tallyho all
    Have to agree with Jenny a lovely pic of you all. Funnily enough we have had
    a big horsey event in Hastings this past week with the appearance of the indefatigable Olympic
    winner Mark Todd in the saddle.
    Mum

  3. What a lovely family photo of the family I came so very close to meeting in Belgium .. .. .. gosh and I thought our Auckland summer had left our backyard looking dry and dusty this looks incredibly dry albeit cold

  4. Girls near horses. Just so you know what you are getting yourself into. I got bitten by this bug 23 years ago and… well I think you know where you will find me every free second of the day and if you see me at school… no I’m not wearing a new perfume I visited the horses just before I left for school so it is indeed good old horse stink you’re smelling šŸ™‚ haha have fun!

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