Whilst on holiday in Barbados we decided to spend a day at the Garrison just outside of Bridgetown where we went to watch the horse racing. In some ways it was very different to my last day at the races in York but there were quite a few things similar too!
I presume horse racing is popular in Barbados thanks to the British influence on the island. You can find memories of British rule all around. We got off the bus and walked past some of the guns which are part of the Garrison and the history of Barbados.
We arrived really early and decided to just go for the ground entry, rather than the grandstand seats. The ground entrance was $10 and we could wander around and even stand in front of the grandstand. There were also some seats which were really just walls to perch on.
Over a beer we studied the horses. This was the challenging part. We don’t know much about racing in England never mind in Barbados! Fortunatly we asked around and managed to get a program and a tip sheet which did help.
To put your bets on there was just one place and you had to wait for the odds to come up on some small TV’s in the back. They fluctuated a lot! For the first race we went for 2 horses as we couldn’t decide – And we won! That was a great start.
We didn’t have as much luck for a few races but then towards the end our luck changed and we had some places and winners! It often took ages for the official result to come up due to enquiries and generally in Barbados everything takes time. Even the races set off late.
The best part about the day was the locals. They would cheer and shout and were very animated when doing so – A few even did movements as if they were the jockey willing their chosen horse over the line first. It really was a fun experience.
For the final race my horse came second and after waiting for about half an hour for the official result so I could claim my winnings, they announced there was a problem with the system and to come back on Tuesday – Only in Barbados!