On a course, at a meeting

By Nilfanion (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
I’m off to Cheltenham for three days at the races.  I know that this is a subject that leaves some readers of this blog cold, others will be annoyed that I spend my time in this way, and yet others will wish they were there too.  Any of those reactions is fine – but I’m off to Cheltenham!

I wonder whether I will see Therese Coffey at the races.  I did see her on a rainy day (the Saturday) of the November meeting, and I have the photographs to prove it.

Minister in a red coat and the rain, Cheltenham racecourse, 18 November 2017

And here she is again heading for the bookies to have a bet on the last race – did she back the winner (and favourite) Posh Trish?


Now it’s nice to see a minister out mixing with we ordinary racegoers in the rain – which falleth on the just and unjust all the same – but I wondered whether the minister had been there on the sunnier Friday too (I was, and I didn’t see her, but you never know, do you). I wondered whether the minister was at Cheltenham specifically because it was the ‘Countryside’ meeting where there is quite a lot of irrelevant nonsense about how hunting is an integral part of our traditional way of life (which it isn’t).  I was wondering whether the minister met any stakeholders at this meeting and had any chats with them – but Defra haven’t told me, so maybe we’ll never know.  I’ll ask Therese Coffey if I see her at Cheltenham over the next few days.

Tips? Wednesday and Thursday are the best days for betting this year.  It’s a marathon not a sprint.



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20 Replies to “On a course, at a meeting”

  1. Actually I am quite sad that you support the horse racing industry which is just another way the rich get richer at the expense of animals in 'sport'. Horses are the only animals that it is permissible to beat in public in the name of entertainment. Cheltenham has the dubious reputation of being the race where most horses die. There are currently calls for the horse racing industry to be regulated by an independent body. This is long overdue. One only needs to look at Dark Clouds, the Cheltenham winner, who was so abused he was forced to race repeatedly despite the need to be given oxygen after each race and finally had a heart attack on the track. All in the name of profit and 'sport'. Rather like driven grouse shooting don't you think?

    1. Susan, well done, your comment is almost entirely inaccurate. You presumably mean Many Clouds, who was as far from being "abused" as it is possible to be. I know the trainer personally and what you have said is pretty well libellous. If you're going to post on a subject, at least have the sense to do your research first. The industry is already regulated in multiple ways and Cheltenham isn't a race, it is a racecourse.

      1. They're all very 'emotional', aren't they:


        And if they care so much for them, why - as Susan pointed out - do they beat their horses, often more than the prescribed limit - and often with impunity?

        Apologies for extending a non-bird subject, but the racing of horses does come up now and then.

  2. "which falleth on the just and unjust all the same"

    I wonder who's umbrella she has!

  3. Tips? Do all the bookies free offers online and save the petrol money!

  4. You deserve a break, enjoy & any mischief you might be able to direct at the minister then go for it;)

  5. 12 race horses destroyed at Cheltenham last year apparently. http://horsedeathwatch.com/#c=3&j=&g=&sd=&ed=&p=1

    I wonder how many of the horses that are bred for racing ever make it as far as the race course.

  6. Mossback, alive this morning, dead tonight. Another sacrifice on the altar of sport

  7. Bloody hell, I hadn't realised the carnage was that bad. Makes you wonder, why don't horses jump out of fields when they are on their own?

  8. Nobody would follow horse racing if it wasn't for the gambling.

  9. Looking on the telly, there are some nice looking woods on those hillsides.
    Don't suppose you are looking for anything displaying?.

  10. The photos, especially the long-distance zoomed shot, look rather close to stalking.

    1. Weavers - so you'd probably approve? Taken on a mobile phone in a public place.

  11. Third horse now dead, hope all you folks who bet think it’s worth it so that you can have fun


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