Posted tagged ‘Horses’

Hollywood Park

December 23, 2013

After we had lunch on Sunday, we decided to take a ride up to Inglewood to visit Hollywood Park on its last day of operation. Hollywood Park closed after about 75 years of operation, a victim of way too many opportunities to gamble.

So, I asked Paula, expert on all things California, she being a native Californian, “why is it called Hollywood Park, not Inglewood Park?” Her answer was that the park was built by Tom Warner of Warner Bros Studio along with investments by many Hollywood Movie stars of the late 1930’s. So it was named “Hollywood Park”
 So we headed up the 110 to Inglewood on a beautiful December day. We arrived late enough so that the ticket takers at the gate weren’t interested in my $20, Woo-Hoo! We arrived in time to watch the 4th race.

 We watched the 4th race from down by the winner’s circle where we could see the horses coming onto the track. Picture taking was a challenge. The finish area was in shadow, while most of the track was in bright sun. Then we went up into the grand stands for a better view of the goings on.
 It was interesting to watch the many people studying their racing forms trying to intuit who the next winner would be. One man we talked to asked if we were betting? I said, “No, I’d rather throw a $20 bill over the railing.”

So it was 30 minutes of boredom followed by 90 seconds of action. No wonder all the action has moved to the sports book operations at casinos. You don’t even have to go all the way to Las Vegas anymore. So we stayed for about three more races and then headed for the gates. We didn’t want to be stuck in the traffic getting out of there.

So for the price of gas, we had a fun afternoon. No parking fee, no admission fee, no gambling. Done!
 – Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Inglewood, CA

Portuguese Bend Horse Show

September 7, 2013

So yesterday Paula and I were looking for something to do other than grocery shopping or lodge or church. Paula finds an ad for the Portuguese Bend Horse Show up in Rolling Hills Estates. Better yet admission was free on Friday. So after we did the grocery shopping, off we go up the hill.

Now I know practically nothing about horses other than they are big, can run fast and jump. We arrive at about 1pm. Having a HP placard gets us a prime parking spot. The common folk have to park at a remote lot and get bussed to the park.

First things first. Lunch. Paula gets a burger and I get a quesadilla. Weather was warm, but there was plenty of shade and a light breeze. Food was good and reasonably priced. They also had adult beverages for sale, but we stuck to the soda and H2O.

After finishing lunch we headed over to the competition arena. They were just beginning to set up for the next event which was women’s 35+. They had tractors raking and rolling the surface while a tanker sprayed water to keep the dust down.

So I am getting the idea, that this whole thing has to cost a ton of money. This is definitely not a middle class sport. I was adding up the perceived costs in my head. You have the equipment, the real estate, the horses, the barns, the hay, the tack (saddles and such), fancy clothes. Man, it made my head spin. Certainly not for someone living on social security.

There were about 30 or so competitors in the event we were watching. All of the ladies were wearing the khaki form fitting pants (Paula says they are jodhpurs), black jacket and a helmut. My, my all those lovely looking ladies in their tight pants.

Before the start of the event, the contestants walked the course, pacing off distances between the fences. Then the event began. I was pretty clueless as to what makes a difference in the judging. We were sitting next to some folks who knew more than me who helped explain stuff.

They said it was more a test of the rider’s ability rather than the horse. On occasion the rider would miss a jump. There was one rider who fell. Neither horse nor rider were injured.

All in all, it was a fun afternoon. All the folks who were running the show were super friendly and helpful. Here’s a link to the horse show program.

Here are a few pictures.

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Location:Rolling Hills Estates, CA