Tag Archives: horse

Horse rides at Big Bay’s Eden on the Bay

Horses at Eden on the Bay
I once went for a horse ride on a beach at Hermanus... it was the craziest thing ever! My horse was the stubbornest tough old stallion around and refused to go where I pointed him!

Our group of horses ended up walking through the waves, among swimmers, all the while with me helplessly waving people out of the way mouthing something like "Out the way, I have no idea how to steer this thing!".

The guy in the photo is one of two who offer horse rides at Big Bay's Eden on the Bay (primarily) for kids. It seemed pretty safe, and I think it'll be plenty of fun for kids.

Why do people love horse-racing?

Why do people love horse racing?
I was never sure why people loved horse-racing so. I wondered if it was that people just love horses, or perhaps that it was the thrill of placing money with a bookie and the possibility of winning, or maybe even the intricate factors gamblers consider when choosing a horse.

While these are all true, after our time at the J&B Met I've come to believe that the overriding excitement in horse racing is the tension that is built while the horses are on the field. As a dozen horses charge down the field there's nothing quite like hearing the faint sound of 48 hooves crescendo into what sounds like a thousand drums. It's truly an amazing sound!

Racing at the 2011 J&B Met

The 2011 J&B Met

Even though J&B have been sponsoring the J&B Met for only 34 years, as mentioned in a previous post the event's history goes back to the 1800s, when the Cape was still under British rule. Each year sees dozens of horse racing events taking place at tracks like Kenilworth, Royal Ascot and Durbanville, but this, the J&B Met, is the premier of all races - the crème de la crème!

Despite being aware of horse racing for many years, I've never really known how betting takes place, and I've never really understood the different types of betting. Included with our ticket for the day was a small betting voucher and a guide that explained the three most popular bet types:

  1. Win : I guess this one is obvious; you place an amount of money (at least R6) on a particular horse to win the race.
  2. Place : You place money on a bet that a particular horse will finish in the first three places (or four if there are more than 7 horses in the race).
  3. Swinger: Your fate rests on two horses both ending in the first three places.

Unfortunately for us, we didn't win any money this time around. But after the main race at 16h30 there seemed to be several very happy faces in our vicinity, which I took to mean that a lucky (or clever) few actually did win some money. :)

Click here to see an album with a few more photos of the horses and the track. And check back during the week - we'll be posting another album or two with photos of the celebrities, the food, and the stylish outfits we spotted in the J&B hospitality marquee.