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Racing at Turf Paradise, Arizona

February 13th, 2017 · Udenfor Skandinavien

Sometimes life surprises you in funny ways. This was the case with Turf Paradise, where I went, while I traveled to Peoria, Arizona to visit my brother. I had looked it up, and couldn’t really find anything. I did find a website, but at the time, it looked nothing like a real racecourse was there. It changed from when I first looked till when I arrived over there. My sister-in-law looked it up, and we found that it very much was a running race course and a “real” one too. So of we went.

It took a bit finding out, where to enter, but we found it. That day – 14th. January, they had a birthday special and free long sleeved T-shirts for the first 4.000 visitors, so we had one, as we were early (The guy on the last photo above here is wearing it). We bought a drink and sat on a bench looking at people for a while. I left my sister-in-law to try and photograph a bit. That in itself was someewhat of a challenge, that was almost impossible apart from the paddock, as the track was a level higher than ground level apart from a solid fence as well. I went to the paddock fence and talked to the sercurity guy and asked about what it took to get behind the fences. The paddock is also of limits with a solid iron door he guarded. That day alone, but next race day together with his boss the Director of Security.

I didn’t quiet understand, what it took exsactly, but as I understood, you have go be recommended by someone “important” as far as I understood. I most certainly want to get stuck in being able to photograph from better places next time. That inspite that I actually did get in, and had better possibilities than I would have had otherwise, because they were nice to me. I appriciated that very much. And in general, I can only thank everyone for being exstremely nice and friendly and making the two days at the track, another memorable and lovely memory from a trip, that in generel was just fantastic. If you want to read more about why and other aspects of the trip please have a look at now and in the future, as there will be plenty about it over there.

So how is racing different in Arizona, than Denmark. Well in several ways. The horses are saddled at the paddock in boots at the side – see photos. I’m told that it used to be like that at Klampenborg too, many years back, but a practical idea.

Before racing starts, the flag is raised. When that happens, the national anthem is played and all activity stops! All stand in silence and salute the flag and cheer and clap when the anthem stops. A very nice tradition in my book.

In general I found the horses were very big and seemed taller than our horses. Not that we don’t have horses that size, but these were all in the range of the tallest we’ve got.

All horses have their own “pony” to lead them to start. The ponies are quarterhorses and former race horses and give and extra dimension to the whole thing. At the weight there’s a bucket with mints for them, and they get one when they arrive and don’t they know whhere they are. They steer directly to get their treets. The guys were pretty chocked when I told them, that in Denmark, they have to be able to canter to start by themselves.

At the Weight they have coat hooks for the grooms/lead-ups to hang whatever equipment the brought down with them. That’s something that would be handy at Klampenborg to have. And of course they have numbers on them, so you can see what horse it belongs to. Speaking of numbers. Here they also have the number approns that I’ve been saying for ages we need at Klampenborg. It’s even more spoken for here, where we race at wet and cold temperatures and the horses often have covers on arriving at the track. This problem is not an issue at Turf Paradise, but it is nice that no matter where you stand, you’re never in doubt of what number the horses have. Also the numbers are different color, which makes it even easier to distinguish the horses from each other. Another good idea in my book.

The winner of the race is photographed in the paddock after the race with owners, trainer etc. Not on the track as such, unlike in Klampenborg, where we do both. There they have a platform build for the owners to stand on if there are a lot of people involved, but it is not always used.

Another thing that was different, I didn’t like, was the lip chains. They put chains inside the horses upper lip for control. There are many theories about these but personally I don’t think they should be allowed. I wonder how we even survive without all these chains. I saw a horse who had chefney, lip chain and a chain over it’s nose as well! A bit of an overkill in my book. Some say it’s not worse than the twitches, but I chose to dissagree. You cannot tell me that a horses gums are not as sensitive as ours and that it must hurt them. I’d rather you have two people leading up like we do, if we have a particular fisty horse. American Quarter Horse Assciation has already banned the use of Lip Chains.

There were two other photographers at the track, who were very friendly and nice. No problem whatso ever. In general like I said, people were really friendly. I’m looking forward to going back to Arizona and not least Turf Paradise, where I really felt welcome.

Later I’ll link to all the photos, so you can see them in larger format!

Click unterneath to see more photos:
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Winter training

February 11th, 2017 · Foto, Ikke kategoriseret, Klampenborg








Long time no see in here. Well not since I left for my big holliday in Arizona, USA. I was gone for 1½ month and loved every second. What I’m not loving so much is coming back to the cold and grey weather. But I’ll get used to it again I guess. I also went racing over there and I have an entry comming about that shortly and you’ll understand, why I want to go back.

O went for a walk the day before yesterday and of course I went through the track and met some friends there. It was not crowed there for obvious reasons but the track was actually okay as it turned out. Afterwards I went to the stables, and a lot of thee “holliday children” are back now, and it was nice to see them.

I need to get stuck in and can’t wait really but I’ve been severely struck down with jetlag and haven’t been awake. And I don’t deal with racehorses or any horse for that matter, not being awake. So I’llh ae to wait for me being myself again. right now it’s 5.25 and Iøve been awake since 2!! To be continued…..

The photos:

1. Gert Hansen and Sessan
2, 3, 4 Nicolaj Stott and Bolette Sig Mathiesen on Drillbox Carlras and Brooklyn Carlras.
5. and 6. Brian Wilson on St. George
7. Sille Kjær Kristensen on Storm Wind

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An idea for X-mas and anytime

December 9th, 2016 · Bøger, Diverse

I have mentioned Audible before and I’ll mention it again, as Christmas is approaching. As you can see you’re able to give the gift of lovely entertainment and books to your friends and family as well, if not for yourself. gamble-felix-francis

You don’t have to be dyslectic or anything like that, to enjoy the convenience of audiobooks. Far from it. It’s just something that is easier than a book on the go and while doing something else e.i. washing up, just to mention one thing, where it is nice to have something to listen to. You can even share it with someone else, as Audible is also possible to listen to on your Laptop or Pad of some sort. It will always synchronize so you’ll start up where you’ve were. So what’s not to like?

I have a subscription to, but you can also choose the American version if you’d rather have that. It’s not the same books, although some of them are. I might try the American one at some point to try something different, and to read some of the titles that are not on We’ll have to see.

As you can see, I’m right now reading something horse related (“surprise”, but I do read a lot that is not too), and I’ll highly recommend Felix Francis books to anyone who liked his fathers Dick Francis books. His is just as good if not even better. I’ve just started this one, but it is so far very good and a bestseller. So consider Audible – not just for Christmas but in general.

If you don’t do the English, but would like a Danish App, that does the same, there is Mofibo and Storytel. But as I haven’t tried any of them, it’s hard to say anything about. But the principal of it is the same. I use a different system to listen my Danish books. I have Nota, which is for people who cannot read normal books. And if you’re Danish and dyslectic or have other health issues affecting you that way, you can get it through your doctor (see how on Nota’s site).

I also would like to take this oppertunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. I’m going abroad to spend Christmas for the first time ever and to visit my new family. So exciting doesn’t even cover it. So it’ll be a while before there’ll be a new post here, but I’ll be back. Take care for now and again thank you for your loyal and lovely support.

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Horse racing in Kenya and Jacob Lokorian

December 3rd, 2016 · Diverse, International

Photo: Adriana Strüver

I was looking for something different, althought related to Ngong and Kenya, when this article from Galopp Magazine, written by Adriana Strüver turned up as a PDF file:

Ngong Racecourse, Kenya

And since I hadn’t seen it, I thought others possibly hadn’t either. I most certainly think it deserved mentioning. Not least because it also mentions Jacob Lokorian, who has ridden here periodically.

And in this cold it is nice to look on something from warmer places. I’m tempted to take a trip down there, but right now I have a few other plans first. But it could easily go on my to-see-list. What about you? Tell me what horse related places, you’d like to go to or/and already have been to.


Jockey Club of Kenya – Ngong Racecourse and Golf Park

2013 Healthy Woman, Kenya – No mean achievement – an article about female jockey Leslie Sercombe

Sercumbe Racing Stables, Kenya – on Facebook

1st. May 2013 -LENS blogs, N.Y. Times – Rough Track and Low Stakes in Kenya

Photographer Adrina Strüver

About Kenya on Wikipedia

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Awards 2016

November 12th, 2016 · Awards, Foto, Klampenborg

The 3 year old and horse of The Year: Suspicious Mind
(with Sabina Karlsson after Danish Derby)

Breeder of The Year: Hjortebo
(here Søren Hjorth on the right here with Karmastrikesback)

Older horse of The Year: Quarterback
(here with Rafael Schistl on Norwegian Derbyday 2015)

Amateur of The Year: William Segovia
(here on Obi C Blue Eyed Pact – Photo: Svensk Galop)

The 2-year old of The Year: Daurehøj Carlras
(winning with Nicolaj Stott)

Handicapper of The Year: Monte Carlo
(winning with Nicolaj Stott)

Jockey of The Year: Oliver Wilson
(here on Hijo De Reina (IRE))

Trainer of The Year: Bent Olsen
(here with Falconet, Oliver Wilson and Susanne Springer)

Apprentice of The Year: Fredrik Janetzky
(here winning on Rocky (IRE))

The Award Party was earlier than it normally is and they changed it slightly. But above, you can see who was awarded last night at Klampenborg Racecourse.

A huge congratiolation to all award winners!

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Race card for Saturday 22nd. October

October 18th, 2016 · Foto, Klampenborg, Race card

The Kicker and Nicolaj Stott on Oaks Day. Saturday it’ll be Martin Rodriguez in the stirrups

Race card for Saturday 22nd. October 2016

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Race card for Saturday 15th. October

October 14th, 2016 · Klampenborg, Race card, St. Leger

Oliver Wilson on Frøken Smilla – they’re also starting Saturday

The race card for Saturday 15th. October

We’re heading for the end of the season, this time it is St. Leger with among them the Derby winner Suspicious Mind and the rival from that race Efesos in it as well. There are 7 horses in St. Leger, which is the same number of races on the day.

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Danish Championships for Amateur Riders and Espen’s new life

October 10th, 2016 · Amatør/lærlingehandicap, Dansk Kriterium, Diverse, Foto, Klampenborg

A happy and relaxed Espen in the winners paddock Saturday

Rikke Bay-Torp and Clauses Angola win the Danish Amateur Championship before Sir Walther/Lea Olsen and Miss Else/Lucas Olsen

Espen Ski with the Amateur jockeys and members of the
DAC at Klampenborg at his exhibition: From the left: Lone Reimer-Høgenhaug – Vice Chairman, Lisa Lindberg, Sabina Gammelgaard, Lise Vest, The winner and Chairman Rikke Bay-Torp, Espen, Cecilie Johnsen, Mona Al-Haj. In front of them: Jaqueline Jacobsen and Victoria Larsen

Saturday I went racing and photographed for the first time in a while. It was nice to get into things. I knew that Espen was comming and was looking forward to seeing him. But first the race.

It was the Danish Championship for Amateurs with 10 horses running. At the end, there was only one horse in the lead and that was Clauses Angola with Rikke Bay-Torp in the saddle. A very convincing win and a very happy jockey and of course trainer and owner.

Clauses Angola (Academy Award – Andalouise) is a bay mare owned by Reinhold Andersen AB, bred by Østerbygaard Stud and trained by Ellinor Rasmusson, Malmö and was ridden by Rikke Bay-Torp

For the prize Espen Ski had contributed one of his works to the winning jockey. Most people here know who Espen is or rather who he was! This article is as much about him and his new life as anything else. The Espen you knew was one of the most succesful jockeys in Scandinavia. He did most of what you’d want in that field and then he did something he most certainly did not. He got injured – seriously injured!

Espen fell of and had serious headtrauma and was in hospital for a long time and for him to even survive was a miracle. So he is just so grateful to be just that – alive! Of course he had times of despair and misery and thinking about “what now?” and if he could go back. And we as a public didn’t know much and that was also due to the process of him not knowing for a long time. What he wanted and what was possible. The acceptance that life was now different took a long time and a lot of internal work. Espen has been on a horse afterwards and it’s not that he can’t ride anymore. He can, but he’s not the same man anymore and another fall could be the last. It’s simply not worth it.

He is now very happy exploring his artistic side and Saturday he displayed some of it at Klampenborg and gave one of his works as a prize in this race. A very nice collage.

It was extreemly nice to see Espen so happy and relaxed and well. I haven’t seen him since last year at the Norwegian Derby Day where he was physically well but the whole process was not there yet. I could clearly tell the difference and that was great to see. As that is the most important: That Espen is happy and healthy – now the artist Espen Ski! He’ll try and come back to Klampenborg next season with more art. Personally I’m very much looking forward to it.

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