Sunday, 2 March 2014

A Day At The Races (& OOTD)

Hello and Happy (Lazy) Sunday!
Yesterday, the fam and I took a trip to Newbury Racecourse to watch my younger brother make his debut as a jockey, so I thought I'd do a post about our little outing, along with an OOTD as Spring is just around the corner and this excites me greatly!

Outfit Of The Day

I Am Wearing

Leopard Collar Top - Dorothy Perkins
Moustache Jumper - Forever 21
Leather Shorts - Topshop
Cut Out Boots - Missguided 
Khaki Jacket - Topshop 
Tartan Scarf - Urban Outfitters
Mini Rings - Miss Selfridge
Black Jewel Ring - Primark
Watch - Michael Kors
Nail Varnish - Maybelline in 'Marinho'
Lipstick - Mac in 'Ravishing'

Our Day: My Brother The Jockey

My brother Niall has always been the responsible one of the family. Being the middle child, but figuratively speaking, having grown up with two younger sisters, he didn’t really have a choice! Some may say that I am and always have been the “rebel” child, and thus not the greatest of role models for both my younger siblings (Ciara, fourteen and Niall, nineteen). The nicknames “Naughty Nish” and “Nice Niall” are definitely fitting! So it was ironic that the sensible sibling began to pursue the thrilling and widely speculated dangerous hobby that is riding, namely, riding race horses. 

Ironic, but not surprising. The three of us have grown up in a family whose passion for horse racing makes Frankie Dettori's look nugatory. I suppose it stemmed from our Irish background; our grandparents were born and bred in the Irish countryside’s of Clonus and Limerick, and when they moved to London after twenty farm filled years, one thing they brought with them (besides the not so fresh manure smell of country air) was their love of horse racing. 

Family trips to all the big meetings became routine from when we were little; Ascot, Sandown, Kempton, you name it, we’ve done it! A trip to the races has always been a big family affair to look forward to, for all parties concerned. The adults enjoy the gambling, the excitement of the game, the unpredictability and the excuse to drink pints of Guinness from 11:00am without feeling guilty because it is “part of the experience”.  As for us kiddies, we were sold by the promise of a £2.00 bet per race, courtesy of our parents, not to mention the copious amounts of donuts, burgers, chips and fizzy drinks that we endured. My personal favourite has always been the King George Weekend at Ascot, in other words, one big funfair at the races; I can't count how many times I had a go on those Dodgems!

Two generations later and my brother has taken the family hobby to a whole new level. As mine and Ciara's interest died down, Niall's grew dramatically as my dad went one step further and began building his own little army of race horses! With the help of Tom Gretton (an experienced trainer from Worcestershire who trains a few of my dad's horses), Niall was all set to race his first ever Charity race, seventeen months since starting out. Perhaps the nickname "Nimble Niall" is much better suited! 

The day was pretty spectacular to say the least. All of us were incredibly proud of him! Even before the race, he managed to remain as cool as a cucumber whilst my family stood around him a nervous wreck and I found myself shaking like I'd just seen a ghost...I blame the adrenaline. Niall must've temporarily lost his somewhere and found it again at the start line! 

He finished 5th out of 11 but was neck and neck for 1st with another horse coming up the home straight (that's the section of the racecourse forming the approach to the finish for all those who, like me, are as clueless as Joey Essex on a good day).

Our screams really were quite hysterical. It's safe to say we all had metaphorical frogs in our throats afterwards...I was convinced as he galloped past us to the finish that he could hear our chants. Apparently this isn't the case. 

For anyone who is interested, here's a link to a video my sister took: isn't the greatest quality, but she did well to even take it. I was designated photo taker but was too busy jumping up and down like jack-in-the-box, and I 'forgot'.

You can hear all of us chanting and cheering. Niall's fan club!

I did, however, catch this great shot of him after the race: son, father and their horsey #proud

Hope everyone has had an enjoyable weekend! 

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