Valparaiso Sporting Club

7 Mar

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Yesterday afternoon we went to the Valparaiso Sporting Club to watch the races. Our friend Marty alerted us to the existence of the Club in Vina Del Mar and on the international racing circuit.

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The Clubhouse is a graceful old Tudor style building, built in the 1930s, with solid wooden betting windows and long white grandstand benches.

The day we were there was a garden variety Wednesday with a race every half hour from 2 to 8 p.m. We got a chance to see the horses before and after the race as the jockeys mounted and rode them out to the track and as the trainers led them back to the paddock after the race.

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Preparing the horses and getting them into position for the race is an equine ballet.  Tradition directs each stage in the process as the jockey and horse prepare to race.

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THE BUGLE CALLS, THE THOROUGHBREDS SETTLE INTO THE GATES AND THEN… THEY’RE OFF!

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You hear the sound of the hoofs on the sod. Then they come around the turn into view and the tension builds in the crowd. As they approach the stands people shout out the name of their horse. (Chileans are especially passionate about their encouragement.) The horses cross the finish line and the winners are announced. All in a matter of seconds.

Then the winners circle and the walk back to the paddock.

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Personal Note:

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My mother used to sing me an old song called “Pony Boy.” It wasn’t until I saw this saddle pad that I ever knew what one is. Here for your enjoyment are the lyrics to this song first published in 1909.
“Pony Boy, Pony Boy
Won’t you be my Pony Boy
Don’t say no
Here we go
Off across the plains
Marry me
Carry me
Right away with you
Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up, whoa!
My Pony Boy”

2 Responses to “Valparaiso Sporting Club”

  1. Paul and Jill March 7, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    Dana..you had to know those horses would get me in…great pics. Hope you two are fine…

    • Jill March 7, 2013 at 8:18 am #

      You would have so enjoyed seeing these magnificent horses. Their groomed coats caught the sunlight as you can see in Dana’s photos. We are both well and looking forward to home at the end of the month. It has been a short year.

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