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Rooting her in…

If I’m being honest I can’t say that I went to the horse races on Saturday with much expectation of taking pictures of the races themselves. Short people are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to trying so shoot over the three sets of barriers that separate the onlookers from the track. So I figured I’d shoot the scene, or people, but I didn’t expect to shoot birds.

Now this was a race that a short person could shoot. We had a clear leader until he stopped to peck in the dirt.
So many racetracks.
Before the first race they were hosing down the horses after their walk and this one wanted no part of it, prompting a little girl standing next to me to tell her mother, “That one is being naughty.”
My friend likes to pay attention to the jockey’s faces, so I paid attention too, and I think this jockey wasn’t happy to see his horse being naughty.
We aren’t allowed to go down to the final turn anymore, so this was the best I could do from my vantage point. And the naughty boy didn’t win.
So for the second race we walked up onto a balcony which gave us a better view, and was in the shade! For some reason I had paid attention to the horse and jockey with the red and white striped jacket. And he was first out of the gates.
This was a much better viewing angle at the turn.
It was only when I reviewed the pictures this morning that I actually enjoyed the races themselves, frame by frame. So I was a little disappointed to see the horse and rider I had noticed be overtaken and lose the race.
This was the third race, and when we saw that it was a turf race I hurried back to the balcony or I wouldn’t get any decent shots at all. Little did I know that this would be the race I enjoyed the most. Pay attention to #1, with the jockey in the green jacket and red hat.
As they came around that first turn #1 was holding her own.
As they came closer I thought she was boxed in.
And even more boxed in. This was crazy. I had checked my pictures to look for the winner of this race so I could follow their progress, but now I thought I’d been mistaken.
A horse was pulling away and ‘my’ horse was falling back. But they had to circle the track again, so at this point I stayed upstairs but moved down to have a clear view of the finish line.
And here we are at the finish line. #1 is the winner! I wish I had pictures of how she managed to move through the pack.
Here is our winner, young and female, with a girlish voice, so excited as she hugged the (female) owners in the winner’s circle. Someone in the crowd was wondering out loud if she was riding any more horses that day.
We stayed for one more race. I stood with one foot on a curbing and one on the fence post to take this last shot. Don’t I wish we could stand on the rail where the official track photographer stands.

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