My Race Days
April Showers; shoot at Cheltenham; Racy Rockabilly accessories; Welsh pt 2 pt National; jockey interviews; Super Ted, Super Greys &Superheroes
It has been an exceptionally busy April and May for me as I get prepared for a
month’s fieldwork in Greenland in June; and a couple of the race meetings I was going to attend were lost to the rain anyway. I did manage to go to Cheltenham’s April meeting and the 3 and a half mile point to point ‘Welsh Grand National’ at Bonvilston near Cardiff. At both meetings we had all four seasons in one day; ranging from heavy rain and hail to dark clouds and sunshine; and from mild temperatures to bitter cold. I am also off to Iceland in September on field work; and they say there if you don’t like the weather wait fifteen minutes. Well; it is worth remembering if going for a day at the races in the UK it is good having additional wardrobe that can cope with such! I was in wellies one minute and seam and heels the next; then vintage forties style millinery to a sou’wester hood, to fur coat!
I was approached by a photographer just before the Cheltenham meeting who wanted to shoot some vintage ‘pin up’ styled fashion images; so I suggested as he is near Cheltenham that we shoot it at the races.
In addition; I was also taking some friends who had never been racing before; Rhiannon and Beth. They like myself are from the Forest of Dean so it was very much a foresters day out. Beth has a jewellery company which produces hand-made, colourful, custom fashion jewellery for the rockabillly and vintage crowd; under the aptly named ‘Bete Noir’ company name. But she has also started to do some pieces for equine and racing fans; keeping the tattoo inspired heart-and-banner format. But the banners as well as the slogans such as ‘’Pin-Up Girl” and “Rock N Roll” now also proclaim “Lady Luck”, “Fast Filly”, “Tally - Ho”, “Dead Cert” “Hot to Trot” and “Dark Horse”; some with hand painted horse shoe motifs . In fact, Beth can also do people’s or even horses names on the jewellery – So a necklace or earrings in green and yellow spots proclaiming ‘Kauto Star” is also possible to order. Her new website will be shortly here: http://www.betenoirejewellery.com/
She bought a selection along to Cheltenham to show me; and I interviewed Beth about the pieces and what she thought about her first ever day at the races.
Beth and Rhiannon really enjoyed their day and definitely want to come along again. They only had one bet as it was quite a hectic day socially and also they stood in as lighting assistants on the shoot! Beth’s choice came in last unfortunately; but Rhiannon had a great run for her money as she along with myself backed the Pipe horse ‘Water Garden’; which went close in finishing second.
The shoot took place prior to racing and during the first couple of races; and the brief was the classic pin up style. So I had some pencil skirts and forties dresses and my Agent Provocateur hosiery at the ready; plus millinery by racecourse milliner Graham McCartney. In keeping with the shoot; we also were able to utilise as a backdrop the fabulous period style Morgan car that has been on show at the racecourse all season which is being raffled (tickets from £5) to raise money for the Morgan statue appeal:
We also of course; had the incredible backdrop of dark clouds over Cleeve Hill and the Cheltenham stands.
Photographer Darren Brindley was great to work with and does some amazing photographic work; he does some especially nice stuff of live bands and portraiture; with cool compositional dynamics. Darren can be contacted if you need a good professional photographer in the Gloucestershire area at email@example.com
Have a look also at Darren’s Flickr stream where you can see additional images from the shoot: http://www.flickr.com/photos/40449010@N02/ So many thanks to Darren for the use of some of the photos in my blog.
This shot we did after they’d finished the first race and are coming back in. The winner was ‘Captain Sunshine’ from the Emma Lavelle yard ridden by Dominic Elsworth; and I had backed Richard Johnson in the yellow colours who was third on the ‘Big Easy’.
Darren said he was a bit overawed at shooting at the racecourse with so much going on. One amusing incident was when we were shooting near the bookies and one shot I for which I lifted my heel; which got a lot of cheering and wolf whistles from some of the crowd! Well Darren did say he wanted some Gil Elvgren type shots....and so this one is for you gentlemen:
The second day of Cheltenham the weather was again wet and cold; and I had forgotten my camera to boot. So I was invited for drinks with Caroline with whom we stay and her friends and so we had a few glasses of champagne in the Golden Miller bar; which was I must say very nice! So having absconded from working on my partner David’s Art exhibition stand for a few hours I thought I had better get down to doing some work for him later. I did manage to get away to watch one race close up by the rail. My facebook friend Peter Gordon has a share in ‘Tickity Bleue’ with Alan King; and early on they were a little concerned about the ground which had become quite soft after the rain lashing. It faced a horse – ‘Glorious Twelfth’ - she had beaten on her sole run before at Newbury but now she had to give it weight. She finished a gallant second but the syndicate were very pleased and I caught up with Peter Gordon on the rails of the winner’s enclosure:
Well I think both those horses are definitely worth following next season and there doesn’t look much between them. But I particularly liked Tickity Bleue so she is on my shortlist of next season’s potential new stars.
The following Saturday was the point to point at Bonvilston and the 3½ mile race known as the Welsh point to point Grand National; so called because it used to be four. We arrived and it was warm and the sun was shining when we were setting up. I had heard a few say the weather forecast had put them off going; so I wanted to post on my facebook that the weather was quite glorious. “Can’t do that” Adrian said “...I have just posted on mine if anyone coming down can bring me some wellies I would be most appreciative...so they will wonder if we are at the same event!” It was true conditions underfoot were a little slippery; but they were about to get worse. Dark clouds gathered and a howling wind got up bringing with it torrential hail. Everyone crammed under our exhibition canopy and it continued for a good twenty minutes. A liberal covering of hail covered the track which added to the already wet conditions.
Nevertheless, we were in for some spectacular racing action; as the sun did manage to come out again on times and the mud splattered sun illuminated silks and steam from the horses made for some great shots.
Nick Williams day got off to a bad start whilst when challenging for the lead on ‘Prince Eleanor’ , he took a crashing fall at the last; leaving 16 year old Charlotte Pritchard to win on ‘West Bay’.
Horse and rider were up okay but the fence was omitted for the remainder of the day due to the conditions. This actually made for some great finishes up the long run in.
The third race in particular for novice riders was a ding dong battle between Kilshanna, New Little Bric and Exceptionnel; with favourite Alroyal finishing 4th.
The brother of one of our top jumps jockeys Christian Williams, currently injured, Nick is also an accomplished jockey. His fortunes were about to get better fter the fall in the first. Riding ‘Dear Villez’ in the Welsh point to point Grand National, a former Paul Nicholl’s trained horse, he led for most of the way and won in good style.
Paul Sheard on Gouranga Society was second and I caught up with him a couple of weeks later at a Pentyrch Hunt fiftieth birthday bash at the Bush Inn in St. Hilary. Paul used to be a Motocross motorcycle rider – so it was quite a change for him never having ridden a horse to learn on a horse he received as part of a deal on a car spray job which is his main job ! He had previously been teased about riding by two barmaids who had horses in his local; so never one to be afraid of a challenge he soon he was riding in point to points! Well being a former motocross rider he was certainly no stranger to the mud and water on the Bonvilston track that day; and his horse finished second at 20/1.
So a great effort by Paul on Gouranga Society but the day belonged to Dear Villez and Nick Williams. I also interviewed Nick about the race and his riding career to date:
NICK WILLIAMS INTERVIEW
ELIZA: Congratulations on your recent victory in the Bonvilston Welsh Pt to Pt Grand National; which of course you also won last year. This year the conditions were quite testing – yet the horse seemed to relish it. Can you tell us a bit about the race and Dear Villez which of course had some very useful form with Paul Nicholls a few seasons back.
NICK: Dearvillez used to be a very good horse that Paul Nicholls, so he was always going to take a lot of beating in that race. We knew he would handle the soft ground we just weren't 100% sure about the distance as he is a very keen running horse. He ran a very good race last week at Cheltenham to finish 5th beaten only a length by the winner - a close race. He now runs Thursday night at Folkestone in a 3m7 hunter chase in which hopefully he will run a good race.
ELIZA: On the day you also rode a winner – Diddle’Em – for Dr Simon and Angela Clarke. How did that race unfold?
NICK: Diddle'em won a couple of races last year on firm ground so we weren't too sure how he would handle the soft ground but as everyone could see he could handle it fine he out jumped all of his rivals and basically led from start to finish he could be an interesting horse for summer jumping.
ELIZA: The first race you came a cropper at the last when in strong contention; but both you and the horse were up okay quickly. Your brother Christian of course has had some very serious injuries race riding – have you managed to evade such yourself and does it worry you?
NICK: Luckily in the 10yrs I've been riding I've only managed to break my jaw,(which happened to be in my 2nd ever p2p race!) Which is very hard to believe- I’ve had my fair share of falls! Whereas my brother Christian has basically broken every bone in his body- twice! That's probably because I'm a lot tougher than him (!!!)
ELIZA: Now I recall Christian telling me you have another brother who is a Rugby player and one who went to Art College. Are you all very different? Did you all get along growing up? How many years between you all?
NICK: I'm one of 6 children- 1 sister and 4 brothers - my poor sister. Being lucky enough to be brought up on a farm in Ogmore by sea meant we were never getting on each others nerves. My older sister Luisa is 30, currently expecting her first baby, Christian as everyone knows next-29 then Andrew 27 a professional chef in Cardiff, then me, Sean, 25 a keen rugby player and carpenter by trade and my youngest and probably wildest brother Joseph who is 24, a plumber.
ELIZA :Your mum and dad run a successful riding school and pony trekking centre down at Ogmore on Sea; which is a very beautiful place. I believe they have also trained point to point horses. Is that how you learned your riding skills and were you parents a great encouragement to yourself and Christian in becoming jockeys? Do you have a lot to do with the riding centre now? Do you ride out for other local trainers regularly?
NICK: My father is extremely passionate about horses - they say Christian and I were practically born on horses so it’s obviously where we get it from. We were never forced into riding but always wanted to follow in Christian’s foot steps. I'm the only sibling who has shown any interest in the riding school where I currently work. Leading treks and breaking in horses are my day to day jobs. The trekking centre is always busy so I find it hard to fit in riding for other local trainers.
ELIZA: What would be your most memorable race victory; and is there a race you’d especially like to win?
NICK: Winning the horse and hound cup at the age of 18 is probably up there with my most memorable moments and that same season finishing 2nd in the amateur riders championship under rules. Missing out by only one winner-really frustrating!
ELIZA: Outside racing what do you like to do interest wise? What would be your favourite (a) movie? (b) music (c) meal/drink? (d) sport (e) holiday or place to visit
NICK: I'm always too tired to watch movies-its a touchy subject with my girlfriend- I always fall asleep in the cinema!!
(b). I'll dance to anything (on the tables usually) after a few pints-those who know me well will laugh at this
(c). Again as everyone knows...I'll drink anything!!
(d). I am a keen fan of rugby, tried and failed to play in school- I was always to skinny! Aside from horses another Williams’ passion is rugby with 2 of my uncles getting caps for Wales and the British lions. My younger brother Sean is captain for our local side I plus there's always a good piss up on international day!!
ELIZA: Why haven’t you turned professional after making such a big impact as an amateur rider? Would you like to stay in racing after you finish race riding eg as a trainer?
NICK: The main reason I haven't turned professional is due to my legs being far too long (!!) At 6ft 2 people struggle to believe I'm a jockey. For p2p the weight restrictions mean I can ride without giving to much thought to my diet. To ride under rules I'd be wasting every day which as some of my p2p jockey mates know is no fun! I'd still like to be involved in racing, when I eventually give up riding, in some shape or form.
ELIZA: What is your favourite racecourse pt to pt wise and under rules; (a) for riding (b) for a day out?
NICK: My favourite race course has to be Laleston because it’s 2 minutes away from my house . The local crowd and the piss up afterwards means I don't need to worry about how I'm getting home!! Favourite under rules is Cheltenham for obvious reasons and riding a treble round there at 17 in a hunter chase meeting will always stay with me.
ELIZA Tell us an amusing incident at the races in which you were involved
NICK: Riding round Bonvilston p2p (my local hunts course) I had jumped 3 fences and I thought it would be funny to reach over to my best friend Josh Harris and pull his breeches down in front of a very big summers days crowd! As I came back in the stewards call me in to their room and I thought that I was in for a bollocking-luckily they were all in hysterics many saying it’s the funniest thing they've seen round a racecourse-thank god!!
Well if you are touring on the breathtaking South Wales coastline; perhaps en route to Ffos Las racecourse :
...then perhaps consider staying near Ogmore on Sea. Nick and his father Rob run a fantastic riding school where you can go trekking on the beautiful local beach. I am definitely going to go there later in the summer and try it. I also did a fashion shoot down on a beach near there recently and Dave popped in to see Nick and his dad while I was shooting with the photographer; and Rob was nagging for us to come and Dave promised so we are now committed! I am not a good rider but I am told they have horses for all abilities. Here is the link to their website if you’d like to give it a whirl too. http://www.rideonthebeach.co.uk/
How cool is this?
Nick had also taken the second race at Bonvilston on ‘Diddle’Em’as you heard; which belongs to my friends Angela and Dr Simon Clarke; so I was very excited for them!
The last race I made the presentation; it was won by Evan David on ‘Traditional Bells’ from ‘Misty Haze’. Point to pointing is an amateur sport and the jockeys are not paid; and the prizemoney is typically just a couple of hundred pounds; scarcely paying for the horsebox diesel and a bite to eat. Thus, the trophy prizes are popular. For the maiden, as most of the races there were several; as my partner David and brother Adrian donate framed prints as additional prizes to the trophies – splendid cups etc plus champagne are given to winning connections.
The penultimate race, the Restricted, looked quite a competitive race to me but fortunately I bumped into Philip Watkins and his partner Rebecca, who we see regularly at local point to points. Philip is also an artist and created the first illustrations for the characters in the award winning ‘Super Ted’ Welsh animation series; which was created by Mike Young. Philip told me about the series and his lifelong interest in racing; and was about to give me a confident tip....which won! Wilkinson did indeed oblige at 9/4, giving Charlotte Pritchard a double on the day too.
You hear Philip explain how one of the first horses to enthuse him as a very young child was the grey ‘Nicolaus Silver’ , who won the 1961 Grand National. That year, the horse had been the alleged target of a doping plot that sounds like something from a Dick Francis novel; as another grey horse, ‘High Spot’, was put in his box as a precaution and subsequently did not run. But there was also another big press story: the Russians were coming.
Reljef and Grifel, two Soviet trained horses, who had finished first and second in the 1960 Velka Pardubicka, were running.
Watch this marvellous Pathe news footage of the 1961 Grand National; including the story of the Soviet horses, as the first grey wins the National for only the second time in history under Bobby Beasley; from the previous year’s winner Merryman II:
Philip is a particularly staunch defender of the Grand National and I can see why from such videos. Over those huge fences, there was not one casualty; and in fact only one reported throughout the whole of the 1960’s. The view from many in the racing fraternity is the changes designed to improve safety may have inadvertently had the opposite effect by decreasing fence size therefore increasing speed. What is for sure is that all these things need to be looked at in a close analysis of the data: and the BHA will do just that; rather than respond to knee jerk reactions. Certainly the Chair, the largest obstacle on the course, does not appear to cause many problems.
The reason I discuss this is because since Nicolaus Silver, no grey horse has won the National (despite the brave attempts of Suny Bay twice second) since 1961. And only ‘The Lamb’, a diminutive dark grey horse, before him in 1868. The year incidentally, of the birth of one of my heroes; Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott; and the year of death of another great explorer; the frontiersman Kit Carson.
Until now. This year’s grand National was won by a horse I knew could do it and I tipped on my facebook. I kept looking at my partner David’s picture, ‘Aces High’; and thinking how can Neptune Collonges, just coming over close to Denman and Kauto Star in the Gold Cup, be 60/1 on Betfair? Sometimes when I see these prices about class horses, I wonder if the bookies and layers on the exchanges have taken leave of their senses; well I certainly relieved the latter of their cash. I also opened up a Victor Chandler account as you get a free £20 bet and had a bit more at 33/1.
We watched the National in our packed and enthusiastic local pub. While delighted that Neptune Collonges won; I didn’t feel like celebrating. In fact; I was overcome with mixed emotions. ‘Synchronised’ ; the Gold Cup hero, and ‘According to Pete’ had had accidents that proved to be fatal. I was in tears to be honest. My heart goes out to connections; my deepest condolences to the owners, trainers and jockeys; and of course the stable staff that tended to their needs day in day out; and who were I know very,, very close to them.
Most people with horses know sadly that a horse can break its leg at any time; and they cannot recover from it. In sports of any kind, there is always the risk of injury or even death. Thankfully, the incidence of a horse being fatally injured in a race is low. When one considers the thousands of horses running; there are bound to be accidents. When the eyes of the media of the world are on the Grand National some will criticise the race. But that same media is strangely silent when we lost another of our great steeplechasers within a week of that race. ‘Great Endeavour’, while on his holidays with jockey Timmy Murphy , broke his leg tragically, while turned out in a field. A misplaced hoof; a patch of uneven ground; that is all it can take. When one considers that; it is quite remarkable how safe racing is in general. And those of us who follow racing will miss Great Endeavour; a fabulous grey who I have followed this year; every bit as much as Synchronised and Pete.
There are those who suggest that flat racing is ok but the problem is difficult
steeplechases; yet a few weeks before there were three equine fatalities at the Dubai World Cup. These things happen; and while every effort is always made and the issue of Grand National safety is looked at again; we really have to learn that a horse can break its leg as easily as a human; and unfortunately it is something from which it cannot generally recover. There is no way that one can wrap horse in cotton wool; they are bred to race; and some excel at jumping and the marathon trips like the National. Think of the races’ history and how these horses are household names. Imagine no more Red Rums; no more Nicolaus Silvers; no more Aldanitis West Tips and Corbieres.
Before I ever got interested in racing I knew these names. I knew the story of Aldaniti and the crippled leg and cancer recovery of Bob Champion which gives so many hope. I knew the story of West Tip and his near fatal collision with a lorry which left his hide badly scarred yet he recovered and sailed the Aintree fences ears pricked. I knew the story of the first woman to train a National winner Corbiere, Jenny Pitman. I knew of the strange jockey (Mick Fitzgerald) who proclaimed that winning the National on Rough Quest was better than sex ( I was at an age where such things had just started to peak my interest!) Of those who didn’t win too – like the strange story of Devon Loch and Dick Francis. We as people need this race; but what is more; we cannot deny it to horses like those I have mentioned; like Neptune Collonges.
While I shall always worry when I watch the National; it should not, cannot, and will not be banned. The great esteem in which thoroughbreds are held; and through it the great care they receive; is totally down to racing; and at least in part especially to jumps racing and particularly the Grand National. I know many of those horses like they are legends; myths. But they were and are real. Horses that won incredible races over fences like the Gold Cup and the National so I knew of their exploits. Before my time many of them; and listening to Philip’s tale of Nicolas Silver; then hearing of Soviet invaders, made me aware of another and the epic tales about each one. But it stretches way, way back. The romance and passion and tales of the race can be found in almost any year. I wanted to look at another from yesteryear and my partner David smiled. He said “look up 1883...see who the winning rider Karel Kinsky was carrying on with; and how much he loved his horse”.
So I did. And found a tale I cannot believe has not been made into a movie. A Czech Count - Karel Kinsky - and a horse called ‘Zoedone’. His stud which to this day breeds ‘golden horses’. His affair with Winston Churchill’s mother Jenny; whose father was co founder of the American Jockey Club. And an affair with the Grand National and the horse he adored above all else; the mare ‘Zoedone’.
When he won the race in 1883 on Zoedone he was in tears; and the press asked him why. He answered that there was now “nothing else for which to live”. Then she was 4th in the National in 1884; but in 1885 on the morning of the race; Kinsky believed his horse had been got at. Zoedone was believed to have been poisoned ; completing only just over a circuit before falling. She was a massive liability to bookmakers as she had been part of the ‘Spring Double’ with the Lincoln winner; so the verdict was she’d been doped. She went to the Kinsky stud and produced some offspring; and Kinsky had horses in training in Britain until 1914. He then refused to fight against the British during the war so was sent to the Russian front. He died a year later; reportedly of post traumatic stress disorder. The Kinsky Stud heritage lives on today:
Just look at some of the other tales from yesteryear:
One can do the same with almost any year. A wonderful part of our culture and history. Everybody wants the Grand National to be as safe as possible; but we also should acknowledge that no equine activity can be completely safe for rider or horse. I believe that is what Paul Nicholls meant when he said that we need to ‘grow up a little’. The day after the National millions sat down to dinner; eating thousands of ungulates without question. Not an issue with that; cattle are bred for meat. Thankfully for thoroughbreds; though they too are ungulates; they are bred to race. And it is through racing; and particularly races like the National; that they are worshipped as heroes by millions and receive such incredible care. While we mourn those lost this year; we must also not forget to hail the grey that has won it; the wonderful Neptune Collonges; one of only three greys ever to win it; and in the closest finish ever recorded in Grand National history. Many congratulations to the Ditcheat team; jockey Daryl Jacob and owner Alan Hales.
In late April and May in between my busy University schedule I managed to cram in some rather nice social events. Marilyn Scudamore asked my partner David and myself, and his brother Adrian and wife Roxy up to Ross on Wye for a small dinner party. This was very nice; and I met her son trainer Michael Scudamore for the first time. http://www.scudamoreracing.co.uk/
They have a lovely set up there in a beautiful spot; and it’s a very social yard. Some of Maz’s friends there on the evening were from the Forest of Dean; so we had some hysterical conversations about ‘the bear’!! ‘Ow bist ole butt’ indeed!
Michael told us he hopes to go to Auteuil next month on a raid with a couple of the horses; which is the big steeplechase course in Paris. It is definitely on my list of racecourses to do!
Then followers of my blog will remember the daredevil primary school teacher who rode in her first ever point to point last year; finishing second. She has since had a baby; so hasn’t ridden since but I am pleased to say she is still partying! It was her 30th birthday and also that of her friend Ros who works in theatre. Both are solid point to point enthusiasts so it was no surprise at their birthday bash in Langstone near Newport to see some racing folk. However; because it was a fancy dress, it was rather difficult to spot them! The theme was cartoon and comic characters; and many opted for super hero costumes.
Keeping very much to the vintage pin-up style theme I went as Sally Jupiter; the original Silk Spectre from Watchmen; and my partner David went as Rorschach from the same. Spot also former point to point jockey Joe Price as Stephanie from Lazytown (his partner trainer Sarah Kent went as Sportacus) ; his son point to point jockey James Price as Robin; former jockey Guy Lewis - who twice rode in the Velka Pardubicka -as the Joker ; trainer Keith Goldsworthy’s niece Jessica as a banana in pyjamas!!
If you like the super hero theme for fancy dress; or fancy dress in general, it is worth noting that racecourses often hold evenings of racing where this is an optional dress code! Folkestone recently held one and they have another great event coming up in June 12th – which has prizes for best dressed 80’s costume! AND they have Bootleg Blondie playing! http://www.folkestone-racecourse.co.uk/raceday/fixtures.html?mode=view&fix=2051
Also sometimes courses have fundraisers where the charity collectors are dressed as super heroes on family days – so the kids can have their photo taken with Batman etc and you donate something to the charity! Here for example is one coming up at Redcar:
Well as we move forward to the summer season and events like Royal Ascot I shall not unfortunately be in attendance this year. The whole of June I am on fieldwork in the far north of Greenland. So the nearest animals I will see to horses are likely to be Musk Ox; and the nearest thing to racing will be husky sled or snowmobile racing! In fact for most of the month I won’t even see an animal; and the only way in and out is by a plane on skis. I hope to do a blog from there; keeping as close an eye as possible via the net on racing events in the UK. So think of me when you are enjoying the Royal Ascot sunshine in sub zero temperatures trying to avoid frostbite and snowblindness; and see you back on the course in July!!
In the meantime have a look at this fabulous campaign photoshoot done by Royal Ascot and super fashions by Vivienne Westwood, Worth Couture and Amanda Wakeley .... and some stunning horses. I am definitely going to miss going this year:
Also I shall unfortunately be missing Bonvilston's next point to point on 4th June - the CA day there; which will be a great social event. Here's how to get there: http://www.pointtopoint.co.uk/go/courses/bonvilston.html
About Eliza Cook
Hi! I'm Eliza. I am a Geographer by profession, and am currently studying for a PhD in Geography at Swansea University. I will be investigating ice core records from Greenland pretty soon. But you don't want to hear about those.
On top of this, during a year out, I fell into working as an in-house model for Agent Provocateur. Strange but true! This experience heightened my appreciation of fashion - especially the eclectic and eccentric fashions of the races.
I've been a racing fan for two years. I love all racing, but a day at the jumps is where I really feel the most excitement. Having grown up in Gloucestershire, with two great racecourses on the doorstep - Cheltenham and Chepstow - it is a wonder that I didn't find racing sooner.
I've been privileged to be a part of some of the 'behind the scenes' elements of racing, from photographing frosty morning breeze-ups to attending the post Cheltenham Festival jockeys' celebration in the Weighing Room!
I am thrilled to be a 'Voice of the Races'. To me, the most striking feature of racing is the accessibility of participants - and the fact that everybody attending has a part to play. A day at the races has it all; wonderful horses, spectacle and fashion, in an adrenaline soaked atmosphere where people from all walks of life come together in mutual appreciation of the sport.
I can't wait to tell you all about my experiences at the races, the people I meet and the adventures I have, as well as the fashions I encounter and the stories I uncover.
I hope you enjoy it!
- 08.11.12 Cheltenham showcase 2012 ; A Fashion shoot, vintage fashion and fond Farewells; Sleek Bodies, Dark Lovers and a bit of Bondage.
- 15.10.12 Dubai International Arabian Raceday Newbury 2012 : the Pure Bred in Legend and Reality and a meeting of cultures
- 26.09.12 Fashion Pad : Racing, Rock n Roll and Retro; Barbours , Belstaffs and Burberrys , Biker Chic and Black Leather; and an addiction to Muck and Speed!
- 29.08.12 Friends at Fontwell Park: Number 6 and a figure of 8; Vintage Fashion & Fab history; Flying leaps, cricket & music...From The Jam and more!
- 29.08.12 After the first race; Fontwell
- 30.07.12 Eliza’s Log: back from a remote Arctic scientific research station; a suitably International blog; and some movies, art, fashion and music
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