Equine passions will be running high this weekend and not just because it’s Valentines Day on Saturday (I don’t think they celebrate that sort of thing). Nor will it be due to the much anticipated release of the Fifty Shades film (the cinemas won’t let them in - despite the fact that it sounds like a biopic of Desert Orchid or One Man).
No... This weekend marks, in case you didn’t know, the official
commencement of the Thoroughbred breeding season.
Thoroughbreds in the northern hemisphere become a year older on 1st January
and it is important, for a prosperous racing career, for a horse to avoid being
foaled before the end of December: a horse which is 364 days younger than his
peers is not going to fare very well in the Derby. The gestation period for a
horse is typically about eleven months – hence the start of the equestrian dating
game in mid-February.
period for the BHA fixture list is similar in length and this week, believe it
or not, marked the initiation of negotiations for the 2016 racing season. But
the date is also significant for racegoers attending Cartmel Racecourse in 2015
– because it marks the deadline for booking highly-prized seasonal parking
spaces. From Monday 16th February, we will be making a small number
of reserved parking spaces (adjacent to the finishing straight) available on a
raceday-by-raceday basis. We will also start accepting bookings for the
camp-site, enabling racegoers to stay overnight before and after each raceday.
Last week we
launched the 2015 season by offering 2,000 tickets at half price, divided
equally between each of our eight fixtures. Unsurprisingly, tickets for the
busiest days were the first to be snapped up, but we still have a few
half-price tickets left for Wednesday 27th May, Monday 20th
July and for the new 2-day meeting on Friday 26th and Sunday 28th
And if you're
juggling with the idea of attending our new meeting – you’ll be interested to
know that the circus is coming! In addition to the traditional fairground
entertainment, there’ll be a big-top packed full of performers. The exact
line-up is still to be confirmed. There is sure to be a funambulist (if you
don’t know, look it up – it’s a great word but not one that you can use very often)
and we were really hoping to secure a human cannon-ball - but he got fired…
As well as
performances on both race-days, we are anticipating that tickets will be
available for the circus on the day in-between – Saturday 29th July,
when the funfair will also be open to members of the public.
As The Beatles
once sang: “The Hendersons will dance and
sing as Mr Kite flies through the ring – don’t be late. Messrs K and H assure
the public their production will be second to none… And of course Henry the
horse dances the waltz.”
obviously a horse on the look out for a mate and will probably be out on the
town this weekend. In June he’s more likely to be on the track than in the big-top,
as the circus will consist of human performers only. If he does make an
appearance at Cartmel, I hope he can run as fast as Rajdhani Express, who is
fancied to spring a surprise at Ascot on Saturday.