Eddie Cochrane once sang:
“Sometimes I wonder what I’m a gonna do
But there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues.”
After the excitement of quality National Hunt racing throughout the Winter, the Summer months can drag on a bit until the excitement starts to build again in Autumn. The summer jumpers do their best to National Hunt fans entertained until the proper stuff starts again in October, but the quality of racing is a far cry from Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown. But perhaps there is a cure for the summertime blues; here are some horse related ideas to make your Summer more enjoyable:
Attend a Polo Meeting – Not far from the Cheltenham, the home of jump racing, is one of the country’s best polo clubs – Cirencester Polo Club. There are fixtures from June to September and on the social side, the Club is celebrating its 120th anniversary on Saturday 21 June with an Anniversary Ball. Tickets are selling fast.
Point-to-pointing – There are around half a dozen fixtures remaining for the point-to-point season, so if you’re quick you can catch some thrills and spills in the countryside. Point-to-points are contested by horses ridden by amateurs who qualify for the races by learning their skills in the hunting field.
Play an online horse racing game – There might not be much excitement on the track but there’s plenty happening online 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. There are a myriad of virtual horse racing games online and some of the best combine the fast paced action of horse racing with the thrill of slots gaming. One the best of these is Derby Dollars. I’ve struggled to find a virtual jump racing game so if you know of one please let me know.
Enjoy eventing – Eventing is sport combining dressage, cross country over fixed fences and show jumping which provides a great spectacle and competition. The season runs from March to October so it’s an ideal filler for jump racing fans. British Eventing are the National Governing Body for Eventing in Great Britain.
Learn how to ride a horse – Whilst you might never be the next Ruby Walsh, horse riding is a rewarding and exciting sport that can be enjoyed by all ages in the warm fresh summer air. It’s also a great way to exercise. Get to grips with the basics of horse riding by watching this Horse Riding – How to start. You can then progress to lessons at riding schools like Ullenwood Court Riding Centre, near Cheltenham. There are plenty of venues throughout the UK and Ireland, so you’re bound to find one that is convenient for you.
Watch great jump races on YouTube – there are plenty of cracking jump races available to watch on YouTube to keep you going until Winter such as the Dawn Run’s Gold Cup. If you watch last season’s races such as the King George at Kempton this will get you in the mood for next season and perhaps give you a few clues to the future stars too.
And if you’re really stuck you could watch some Flat racing!
What will you be doing this Summer to keep yourself entertained? Let me know in the Comments below.