The beginning of November is a great time to be in Christchurch. It’s a big week with horse racing and the A&P show.

First big racing day is the Trotting Cup. We bought tickets to the restricted areas this year thinking that would be a nice way to spend the day. Not so! The area was in a good position with a good view of the track, but it was so crowded and with all of the seating taken we moved on after a walk around to check it out. Back to the public area where we moved around during the day from the grandstand- great viewing but no cover so needed a hat – to seats on the lawn, to the area behind the stand and buildings where all of the action is to be found. Great people watching at these race days. The lads are very well turned out, if you didn’t have a nice jacket on you stood out. Luckily for the lads the day was a little cool so they would have appreciated their jackets, some were generous and shared theirs with their not so well covered girlfriends! As for the females, on the day less is best! Tops are low, skirts are short – just like ours 40 years ago. Most looked fantastic. They could wear the same outfit to a wedding, maybe with a little more cover! They certainly put the time into their preparation and presentation. Gorgeous. The band played, people danced, the bars had long queues, the fashion on the catwalk was amazing – was this a race meeting or a fun day out? Many wouldn’t have seen a horse on the course, but they sure had fun! So did we, I made money too!

Next outing was to the Canterbury  A & P show. This is another big day out for the Cantabrians with all of the animals, farm machinery, stalls for food and whatever else you may want to buy, a fairground, band etc. Really interesting for the city folk as well as the farmers. Well set  out, easy to get around,  a great day out. It’s interesting how diverse our agricultural sector is in NZ with a huge variety of animals on show and farm machinery from huge to tiny. The bands we heard were really good, the day was cool though so that probably affected the number of people willing to sit outside to listen. Pity. Could have had as much action as a wine and food festival. Nice wines too.

Our last big day out in Christchurch this trip was to the galloping cup meeting at Riccarton.  A huge day out for the locals and well known as a big day for overindulgence in alcohol. The first sign of this was the vehicle check on entry to the car park. Two chaps asked if they could search the motorhome for alcohol. We had no problem with that, we didn’t think we had any, a most unusual situation, but just lucky for us. Good luck to them I thought, that will take a while! They did find a KGB in the fridge which had been in there a couple of  months, they took it, no worries, obviously not a flavour I was keen on or it would have been drunk! If they had found any more we would have just gone and parked outside, we weren’t planning to drink anything that was in the van anyway, but apparently that is a big problem for the racing club. People drink to excess in the parking area and cause issues. The van search over it was in to the races. The day was even colder, no sunfrock for me that day. Another good day, everyone there seemed very happy. Good seating and once again the people watching filled the day when we weren’t watching the races. The trotting cup certainly is the big day though. Would we go again? Yes, obviously not such a big day as the Melbourne Cup, great fun for keen race goers and those with no interest in racing alike, but still a good day out.

We also enjoyed a picnic by the Avon with people enjoying punting on the river beside us. Lovely spot. We bought the picnic food at the market. Fresh and tasty, the markets in Christchurch are fabulous.


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