On Friday we attended a "derby with an art centre flair" for my one-day-a-week art gallery job. It was a blast! I was a bit confused at first, since the event was held at the Local Events Hall... how were horses involved in that?!?! I mean, usually the place is a Bingo hall or high school reunion center, so factoring in horses was impossible to imagine. I thought maybe it would be like The Triplets of Belleville, but it was simpler than that!
First, the local group of carousel horse artisans brought some of their works which were painted by members of the Art Centre to lend to the ambiance. One of the carousel creatures was this boar/pig thing with pretty incredible tusks! I got a kick out of him! I once had the privilege of being at their "studio", which is really the "dining room" of this one house... FULL of chisels and huge blocks of wood with horse heads and front legs springing from them. It was amazing. Maybe I can go back sometime and snap some pictures of that?!? Their work is truly impressive and makes me want to strike it rich and hire them to make me a whole working carousel for my personal enjoyment. And as a massive photoshoot prop. Think what that would add to family and kid portraits!!!
Anyway, we soon learned that the premise of the "race" was that a "jockey" picked out a stick horse and wore a sign with the appropriate gate number for the steed they were riding and stood on the corresponding numbered box on the floor. The floor was taped into a giant grid, eight squares across (one for each gate) and five squares deep (five squares to the finish line). A guy using a Bingo ball roller randomly pulled the numbers for the horses and whoever was called moved forward a space. This continued until the winning horse advanced all five spaces.
The event ran three hours and included a buffet dinner that was actually pretty delicious. The veggies were the best! There was a cash bar and included coffee, tea, and water for underagers and non-drinkers. One member is also a candy maker and made hundreds of chocolate horseshoes for every guest to take home!
I bought Bear a horse he named "Lucky Strikes"... who wasn't so lucky, it turns out... even after I slated him in the third race in the third gate (three is my lucky number)! Those who were luckier than we received a $50 purse every time their horse won, and anyone who bet on a winning horse was put into the big drawing for a $500 grand prize. The woman who won the big drawing wound up having a choice between the money and a donated painting worth $1200... and took the money and ran. So the painting will be the drawing prize for our holiday gala.
The whole experience was new and a ton of fun for us! Do you have a job or belong to an organization that does some sort of creative benefit annually? I'd love to hear what kinds of functions other groups may have!