Saturday, June 2, 2012

Reasons to be British, Part 27 and a half: The Derby

Summer has arrived on our damp, green little island. From the dreaming spires of Oxford to the Epsom Downs, people will be hoping for good weather, for England to do well at Euro 2012 and for enough Pimms to see them through the long Jubilee weekend.

There are many things I love about an English summer and one of my favourite things is the horse racing. We Brits love our horses. Hell, even Shakespeare acknowledged that when he had Richard the Third shouting for a horse during the Battle of Bosworth. We're talking proper racing here with jockeys who ride with their brains and not with their whips. We're talking about one of the most beautifully bred, exquisite, temperamental creatures on the planet - the English Thoroughbred. I love them. I love their quirks, their beauty and their courage. I love the history and the pedigrees and the fact that today's thoroughbreds can all be traced back to a handful of scrappy stallions. It's the one thing I have in common with our Queen, this love and fascination for horses.

The Queen, bless her, takes her racing very seriously. She breeds race horses, she knows their pedigrees inside out, she names her horses, and let me tell you, she's very clever at naming them. Even when she's in the midst of the craziness surrounding the Diamond Jubilee, she still finds the time to enjoy her racing.  Today's big race is a prime example. It's the Epsom Derby, the original Derby. No Mint Juleps and red roses here. This race has been running since 1780.

It's a huge occasion. People come by the bus load. They fill the massive stands or crowd into the infield where proceedings are less formal. It's the second race in the British 'Triple Crown' for three-year olds. It's handy that it falls during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations because it'll be an even bigger occasion than usual. The Queen will be there. She doesn't have a runner this year, but she loves her racing and it must be a nice little 'break' from the hectic itinerary she's been keeping this year.

I'll be watching. It's the end of an era today. It's the last time we'll be able to watch it on the BBC, because from next year, another channel will be covering the race. But it's the British thing to do.

Speaking of which.  Today marks the launch of a new blog. UK M/M Romance . To celebrate this most British of occasions, me and my fellow Brit Authors - Sue Brown, Chris Quinton, R J Scott and Lisa Worrall are holding a competition to win:

a $30 gift certificate to spend with Silver Publishing

The choice of an ebook from the back catalogues of:
Sue Brown, Lisa Worrall, Chris Quinton, 
SA Meade & RJ Scott

All you have to do is visit the main blog, check out our questions, then visit each of our blogs to find the clues.

Sue Brown
Chris Quinton
R J Scott
Lisa Worrall

So, pour yourself a Pimms, tuck into those strawberries and have some fun. Happy clue hunting!

1 comment:

  1. I'm afraid I'll get lost in trying to get to all the I sure love the idea of UK blogs! Congratulations, you wonderful UK ladies!