Thursday, August 26, 2010
Horse Racing: stepping into a new universe
The universe in which horse racing exists is complex and requires that the novice learn a whole new vocabulary (do you know what a 'spinner' is? a 'stooper'?) including how to read the racing forms, how to bet, amongst other things, and calibrating a whole set of social strata. There is the horse, the event, the aftermath. The horse= owner (individual and/or syndicates) + trainer + groom(s) + jockey + food + housing + veterinarian + accoutrement + fees (for events, licenses, etc) = money. The racing = venue, fees/licenses, vendors (restaurants, food, booze, souvenirs, linens, toilet paper, office supplies, cash machines, computers, etc), employees (management, event development/planning, janitorial, cashiers, judges, track maintenance, food service workers, supervisors, grounds maintenance, meeter/greeters, announcers, judges, IT), equipment (large and small, complicated and simple), racing forms, TV monitors, camera operators/photographers, and associations for all of the above. None of this would exist if it were not for the spectators, bettors, entourages. These all form the pageant. This requires a variety of fashion statements.