hunt races

What’s Up, In Pictures

 

We are about to emerge from the log jam of April and May, and I have a few minutes to post some pictures snapped in recent weeks. When last I left you, Cayden was duct-taped to a cart in the driveway. Since then:

We returned to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, which I described four years ago here. It is a massive sheep spectacle-meets-craft fair, with a healthy dollop of Americana.

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Hadley and I kicked off our respective softball seasons. On a Saturday in April, we celebrated at a sun-soaked lunch.

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Since then, virtually all of our games have been rained out.

 

Last weekend, we partied at the Potomac Hunt Races. On that day, it didn’t rain, but the wind blew like the dickens. Still, lots of fun for the adults:

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Kids, too:

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Between races, Hadley, Cayden and crew hawked decorative horseshoes and pulled in a nice profit.

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Back on the farm, we discovered one of Blackie’s relatives inside the bar. Our cat Olive has also been wriggling through a narrow gap beneath the door, so it appears that cat & snake are tag-teaming the rodent population inside. Cool.

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And finally, Felix, our semi-feral cat, continues to defy the textbook prototype of a barn cat, by getting fatter and fatter. His stomach nearly touches the ground and mouse-sized mats ride his back, because he’s too tubby to groom himself. More on that later.

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Postscript —  I can’t conclude with that blubbery feline. Frequent storms and volatile weather do yield some nice sunsets, like this one last night.

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The Day After

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The day after the Potomac Hunt Races isn’t a functional Monday; it’s just a bunch of hours strung together… an interminable slog to the finish line: rest, recovery and Tuesday. After days of preparation leading up to the Races, all the grunt work, not to mention the pre-parties… and the pre-pre-parties, and then the actual event on Sunday–

–well, Monday’s pretty ugly.

If dinner’s any indication, I served the kids the following on Monday night:

  • 1 slice of pizza, divided three ways
  • 2 chicken nuggets per kid
  • snap peas — about 20 — divvied into 3 portions
  • 1 peeled carrot per person
  • a pint of wrinkled blueberries. 

Voila, dinner is served!

To their credit, the kids didn’t utter a word. I had that post-race glaze that said: tread lightly.

But enough about recovery, fatigue and hangovers. Were the Races worth it?

Um…. yea!

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A few of our friends host a tailgate that’s always theme based. Previous themes have included safari, pirate, Wild West, and horny (don’t ask).

This year’s theme: “War Horse.”

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Bubba, replenishing supplies

 

When we weren’t socializing, snacking or depleting the mojito supply, we were piloting the gator — sometimes ferrying equipment, sometimes shuttling elderly folks or heavily burdened families en-route to their parking spots. But more often than not, we were entertaining kids in joyride fashion. Every time we started the gator, children emerged from the woodwork.

 

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Amidst all of this, there were races and horses — the whole point of the day.

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Cayden, Hadley and Brynn managed to monopolize on the event… not by betting, but by taking advantage of bettors. Hadley made a bunch of rubber-band bracelets and the kids peddled them rail-side between races.

Asking $1-$2 each, they pocketed $50 total.

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A day’s end it was time to hang it up, break down the tailgates, pack up the leftovers…

…and distribute the kids to their rightful owners.

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