French Sabbatical

My family's year in France…

Day 311 (7 May 2011) – First Saturday in May

Growing up, for me the first Saturday in May meant Kentucky Derby Day. In celebration today, I tuned in at home to the live feed of horse races from France (because of the time difference, the Derby doesn’t actually run until something like midnight our time tonight). Was I ever in for a surprise when I discovered that they were featuring today’s races from Nantes! I watched the first 6 races on TV, setting up the camera for today’s photo (See the brick-colored inner track? I ran 4 times around that one, the trotter track, this morning). That’s the fourth race from Nantes being run behind me.

I then walked over to the track to watch the last two races in person (it’s free to get in at that point – I’m a cheapskate, you know). These last two were both jumps, something I’ve come to really love watching. I’ve also developed a little handicapping system in France, which gives me a horse to root for. I look for horses than have run in the last month and are being bet down. That’s it. I picked the winner of the 7th race this way but my horse in the 8th fell on the last jump (both horse and rider are fine). He wasn’t going to win, though. Oh, and to keep the record straight, I’m not doing any betting.

I also worked to get into position to be in the official video of the 8th race, something you can see here (choose “Course no 8,” the bottom option). It’s a long race so you’ll have to be patient, and there is a graphic across the screen that blocks most of me. But at the 4:51 point you’ll see a white paper in the air above the word “De.” That’s me thrusting my program in the air. Keep watching and you’ll get a little more glimpse. I think it’s also in slo-mo a minute or so later.

Now a quick acknowledgement to the Shaw side of the family, those people who think the first Saturday in May means “Opening Day” (of the boating season).

May 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments


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