I'm no racing enthusiast. For my household the end of the AFL season signals many suddenly unfilled hours. Racing, I'm afraid, is lost on me. Mind you, I am more than happy to accept a day off in celebration of a race I sometimes forget to watch. Most Melbournians know what the Melbourne Cup Day holiday is really for: sleeping in and gathering with friends.
That said, just because you don't get racing, doesn't mean you can't enter into the spirit of things. Australians are guns at that. Just think how many fellow countrymen and women don't rock up to church over Easter! How many of them do we get volunteering to stay on and hold the fort at work, instead taking the four-day break? Hmm? Anyone?
With the Melbourne Cup Carnival fast approaching, it seems fitting to make a contribution to the weekend, even if it has little to do with the actual race. This year, gather your favourite people together for some heightened hilarity - I mean the real sort you can remember the day after!
Invite your guests to come suitably attired and offer prizes for the most creative costumes. Sure, you could come in a suit or frock. OR you could come as a something a little less, well, obvious. Think Monty Python's Holy Grail amd the pursuit of coconut shells could have you standing on the winners podium. Better still, hand a pair to each guest as they arrive for a clip-cloppity ol' time.
Eat Horsey Stuff
Add to your guest's real-life "saddlebags" with a range of tempting treats. Eat hors d'oeuvres or as my partner prefers to call them, "horses dervers".Cake artists may like to decorate a horse cake. Other tempting treats could include toffee apples, oatmeal biscuits, lolly teeth. Serving dishes might be upturned hats, hessian or straw-filled bowls for wrapped items.
Horse Shoe Coits - this can be modified version of boules, bowls or coits.
Horse-Pat Challenge - teams race the clock to collect "horse pats" (made from papier mache) using trowels or spades. On the starting gun, one player from each team runs into an area scattered with patts, retreives one, and races back passing the spade to the next team member. Pats are dropped into a bucket in front of the gathered team. The team with the most pats after 3 minutes wins. You can extend this game by using different objects in subsequent rounds, such as hay bales, sugar lumps, horse shoes. Smaller objects will provide a more challenging activity with the seeking element coming into play.
Braiding Race - a twist on the chocolate game. Sitting in a circle players take turns to throw a dice. When they throw a 6, they rush to the middle of the circle where they must braid three long pieces of rope. When they have braided the entire length, and provided no further 6s have been thrown in the meantime, they use a knife and fork to cut one square of chocolate from a family block and eat until the next 6 is thrown.The game finishes once all the chocolate is consumed.
Pin the tail/saddle/jockey on the race horse - a modified version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Get your picture here.
A lump of sugar or a carrot
A refreshing hose down
Other horse-themed knick knacks such as horse shoes, a copy of Black Beauty or dvd of Racing Stripes, mini Melbourne Cups, plastic toy horses etc...