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Wednesday 28 June 2017


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When preparing for a big event, any woman knows (and hey, some men too!) that the preparation/getting ready stage is almost as, if not more time consuming than the actual event itself. There's a lot of thought and planning involved.

Which dress shall I wear?! 
Do I have a matching clutch? 

On the 8th of next month, I'll be attending Sandown Park for a day at the races, so in this instance there are a few more aspects for me to consider. If you've never been to the races before, it's a wise move to familiarise yourself with the rules a little. I've been to the polo before, but obviously they're very different - so the only piece of wisdom I've gained through my time as a person allergic to horses at a horse related event... is to take my antihistamines. (I spent a portion of my childhood riding horses whilst drugged up on Clarityn so I'll be fine.)

So, I thought I'd share a few things I've learned through my getting ready process in case you find yourself in a similar situation!

The part of the preparation I'm most looking forward to is the hat/fascinator decision. Sandown encourages visitors to dress smartly, so hats and fascinators are encouraged but not compulsory. I need no encouragement. 

Sandown Park's website has an entire section dedicated to travel and parking, which I found really useful as I'll be driving a couple of hours to get there. 

The website also has lots of other helpful tips regarding the dress code, dining options, and a betting guide. Regarding betting, if you're going to get involved, of course I encourage you to bet responsibly. I've said to friends in the past, only bet what you'd be willing/can AFFORD to lose. If you dropped £10 in the street would you be very, very irritated? Only bet £5 then. Or alternatively, it's perfectly alright to refrain from the betting element of the day and simply enjoy the fun, exciting atmosphere! 

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I also wanted to find out a little more about the history of the racecourse before attending, and found that Sandown Park, which opened in 1875, was one of the first courses to charge visitors for attending and everyone had to pay at least half a crown. 

Also, the feature race on the 8th of July is called Eclipse, eponymously named after the racehorse born in 1764. Amazingly, more than 95% of modern racehorses are descended from Eclipse. I also had no idea that horseracing is the second biggest spectator sport in Britain, with over 6 million people attending the races each year.

A few of my other favourite facts include: 
A racehorse can cover 100m in half the time of the current Olympic record held by Usain Bolt.
Jockey silks (the colours they wear to differentiate themselves) date back to the 18th century and there are over 26,000 possible colour combinations.
The average daily calorie intake for a racehorse is 35,000. I'm jealous. 

You'll be able to follow what I get up to on the day on my Instagram, Instagram stories and twitter if you're interested. All @arabellagolby. 

Have you ever been to the races before? If not, do you have plans to? Let me know! 


  1. I've been to a local point-to-point so whilst not quite as grand as your day out, it was still well-organised and good fun. I had a blast and came out £10 up which was a bonus.

  2. It looks totally remarkable, I trust you making the most of your opportunity at sandown stop! The experience looked stunning from the photographs and such a delightful climate areas.


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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!

You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram @arabellagolby