I am pretty horse crazy. When Eileen asked me if I wanted to go to Club Hípico, a racetrack here in Santiago, I didn’t hesitate. Yes, I realize that there are unethical practices in horse racing. This article in the New York Times highlights some problems that New York state has been having with its racetracks. Basically, due to higher purses, owners and are injecting their horses with painkillers and other medicine and then over working them, which has resulted in a lot of horse deaths. I don’t like it.
BUT, I love horses. And living in this concrete jungle means that I don’t get to see them very often, except maybe the occasional police horse. And since women don’t pay to get into Club Hípico, and I didn’t place a bet, I did not monetarily support Club Hípico or the racehorse owners. And to be fair, I don’t even know if abuses exist in Chile like they do in the U.S., maybe not. It’s something that I should research.
Anyway, onto the pretty horses. Here are some of my favorites.
Well, this isn’t a horse. But it is the Club Hípico from the main entrance. Impressive, right?
First horse sighting! The horses parade around this little ring before they head out onto the track where they are introduced and then head to the starting gates.
This isn’t a race horse, it’s a “helping horse:” a horse and rider that help the high-strung Thoroughbreds into the starting gate. This is my dream job. I had a soft spot for this horse because it looks like my old horse, Nutmeg.
Here come the racehorses, parading out to be introduced before heading to the starting gate.
Some horses just have human helpers. (And cute jockeys who smile for the camera)
Blue bridle and pink jockey silks. Stylin’.
The Andes Mountains provided a lovely backdrop.
The horses run by in a blur in the final stretch of the 1600 meter race. It was a grass track.
The winner goes to the winner’s circle with its jockey, owner and trainer.
If you haven’t had enough horses by now, check out Eileen’s post about the races. There was also great people watching, which she documents (I was all about the horses!)