Gone to the Dogs


Helen Rose Hill Diary   January 2008

Since I have not been hill walking this winter due to other commitments, I have no hill walking trips to write about. However, in my last diary article, I wrote about musical legends including the T in the Park outdoor musical festival. I have decided that I have led a sheltered life and have not done many things so now is the time to catch up. The list is; an outdoor music festival (now done), a night at the greyhound racing, a day at the horse races and an Old Firm football match. The latter is proving difficult to source tickets as it is a Glasgow Rangers and Celtic match but I would dearly love to attend one to experience the atmosphere. If anyone knows how I can get tickets please let me know? The horse racing I hope to go to in the Spring will be at Ayr or Hamilton.

I managed a night at the Shawfield Greyhound Racing last month with some of my University pals and we had a very enjoyable time. None of us had ever been to the ‘dogs’ as they are affectionately known. It was a cold night so we were well wrapped up and travelled by bus to allow us to have a few libations to keep us warm.

It was dark when we arrived but the track is floodlit. We had no idea how to go about betting but the people there were very helpful and we only bet a pound each on each race. There were five or six dogs in each race and about twelve races over the night. The advice we had was just to choose a name we liked. Initially, we stood outside at the track but as it was cold so we quickly retreated to the comfort of the bar overlooking the track where we could also place our bets. It was fun shouting on our dogs to win as if they could hear us through the glass.

As we lost on most of the earlier races, we decided to study the dogs before placing bets and watched the dogs being paraded on their leads before being put in their starting boxes. One dog was carried on by its handler which we found very amusing, given that it was supposed to be using its legs. Strangely enough, it did quite well in the race. We were not any more successful with studying form so we reverted back to the names and I chose a dog with the same name as my daughter. Surprisingly, it won as an outsider reducing my losses.

All in all, we had an enjoyable night and learned about betting on dogs. We had laughs and I may go back at some time in the future now that I know what to do but there is still the horses to look forward to and yet more betting.


Coming attractions; Suggest a hill you want me to write about?


Thanks to Maria Gil for the photo