Friday night our family attended “RACE NIGHT” at Gresham Village School as part of a fundraiser put on by “The Friends Association” and teachers.
While we knew there would be some sort of organized betting on horses, we were not sure what to expect. Upon arrival, we were greeted by some of the older children and then made our way into the gymnasium where there were various refreshments to purchase. Once everyone was settled at their tables, Mrs. Gillespie explained how the evening would work with a total of eight races – six horse and two greyhound races to be played and the final race sequence would determine who won the square.
First a ticket was randomly drawn from a box and that was the race which would be played. Each race had eight horses or eight dogs. Unlike “real horse racing” where you know the name of the horse, jockey, trainer and history, here you simply pick a number 1-8 (really luck of the draw). You then had the option of placing a one pound bet on your number at the “betting window”, which was manned by Mr. Goodliffe and his partner, Jo. The race was played on a large projector screen in the front of the room and the excitement really began once the bell rang. As the horses set out from the gates, people started cheering for their number to cross the line first and often had two horses head-to-head with a photo finish. The total amount of the payout for each race was 60% of the “total bets of that particular race” with 40% going to “The Friends”. The payouts varied over the course of the evening with often a few winners splitting the pot taking home £4.80 each to a whopping single win of £17, which was won by OUR family. The largest payout of the night at £25 was for the square, which was determined by the final winning order of the horses in the last race.
Before the final two races were shown, we took a break from the betting and had our tea, which was brought in from a fish shop in from East Runton Fish & Chip Shop. When signing up for the event, you had the option of ordering Fish & Chips or Sausage & Chips. Each family was given a bag with their pre-ordered food already sorted. I know it sounds simple but that tiny bit of pre-thought out organization, prevented any mix up and confusion.
It was a lot of fun and really glad we attended, we have met a lot of new people and support the school while having fun!
Soren had a lot of fun playing with a pal, Blake and also taking part in placing the bets and collecting the winnings!