Behind closed doors: from the picnics to the smell — 8 reasons we are missing attending equestrian events

  • Lockdown may have been eased slightly, but the fact we are still unable to attend our favourite events makes us miss them more and more. Here’s just some reasons why we can’t wait to be back out watching our sport in person...

    Our equestrian fix

    Nothing beats watching top-class equestrian action up close, whether it is from the comfort of a grandstand, out in a muddy field or glammed up at the races. Watching our favourite professional riders and their willing mounts go head-to-head is always thrilling. Although the sofa doesn’t quite have the same effect, thank goodness for live streaming — we can at least enjoy some live action and satisfy our equestrian sport fix.

    That special odour

    Okay, this may seem like a weird one, but lockdown and not being able to ride makes us miss the smell of horses — anyone else? Attending the races or a horse show, there is something about the scent of freshly painted hooves or newly applied fly spray that watching on TV just doesn’t do justice.

    The burger van is calling

    While many of us may attempt to maintain a healthy diet, horse events seem to be the one time we can indulge and “treat” ourselves by heading straight to the burger van (that smell is far too hard to resist), or deciding that a warm day must always warrant a fly-by via the ice cream van. Eating a greasy burger on the sofa while watching a live stream doesn’t quite have the same effect, although we wouldn’t say no to it.

    A dog’s day out

    It’s not only us horse-mad people who have missed attending our most-loved events, we would say our pooches have also certainly missed their days away at our feet. The prospect of walking the cross-country course and a trip in the car is often enough to get their tails wagging — their usual daily park walks just don’t compare.

    Sun worshippers

    Another great thing about watching horses in action outdoors, is that multi-tasking in the form of sunbathing at the same time can be applied. Lying in your back garden just isn’t as exciting.

    A small flutter

    For those of us who enjoy a flutter at the races, we’ve been missing not only watching the horses on the racecourse but also exchanging the odd each-way fiver in actual cash. Online betting isn’t quite the same when you like to feel your winnings in your hand.

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    Dusting off the dress

    No doubt the sales of lounge wear increased during lockdown, but after a while the novelty of working from home in your PJs wore off and the thought of dressing up for a day at the races was a distant memory. Who else misses getting glammed up for racing? It feels like a long time ago since we were having to match hats to dresses and making sure our heels don’t clash with our colour-coordinated outfit.

    A perfect picnic

    The only thing that could perhaps tempt me away from the burger van is a scrumptious picnic packed into the back of the car, accompanied by a cheeky glass of bubbles. Whether it is at a point-to-point or out eventing, nothing actually beats a homemade picnic with all its glory. Here’s hoping those memorable days return soon.

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