I think I’ve mentioned before that I am truly grateful for the friends I have met along the equine photographer’s journey. Tara is one of these friends. Last year she invited me to join her at Sandown Park to attend the Racehorse Sanctuary Race Day, a fund raiser. I was delighted when she invited me again this year.

Dressing for an occasion like a race day always stresses me out. Especially when carrying some extra steroid/stressed weight. A trusty H&M number saved the day and it was blowing a gale, so the hair just got washed and put up. My gorgeous new Kate Negus bag matched perfectly, and the berry colour tassel was the right choice. As some of you will know I’ve moved to a new house and I am now in Surrey. So, I rather cockily some might say allowed the 30 mins google maps said it would take and ended up stuck in awful traffic. A journey of 16 miles ended up taking an hour! Shocking and I really hate being late.

The 2018 Racehorse Sanctuary Race Day: What do they do?

Luckily, I arrived in the nick of time for the drinks reception and was pleased to see the sun was coming out. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the Racehorse Sanctuary they do amazing work with ex-racehorses. Not just those that can be re-trained and rehomed but more importantly those that cannot be rehomed and need somewhere to live out their days. Sadly, these amazing creatures are seen as a disposable commodity. All too often end up being passed around or worse still end up with the meat man. They rely on donations and as we all know horses can be expensive creatures! Especially during the cold winters.

The 2018 Racehorse Sanctuary Race Day: Great food and great entertainment

The race days they organise are fantastic value for money. Less than £100 and you get a champagne reception, 3 course meal, wine, lots of entertainment, prime seating and afternoon tea!! That’s amazing value, especially as you get it all served in a lovely box overlooking the racecourse. The food was absolutely delicious too. A starter of Gin and Tonic infused Salmon, followed by the moistest chicken and with a yummy peach Bellini mousse to finish with. There was plenty of clean plates all round our table. The service was excellent, and we were entertained throughout dinner. Colin, ex-jockey who counts Desert Orchid as one of his rides, had plenty to say about the race card and he came up trumps a few times.

The 2018 Racehorse Sanctuary Race Day: Winner Winner

There was also an auction which is always good fun and raised a nice sum of money. As well as the auction there was a raffle and a great game of heads or tails. Once the racing started a few of us went down to the paddock. The wind had died down and it was actually a gorgeous afternoon. Lots of stunning horses and I got lucky with my betting which always puts a smile on my face. Tara also came up trumps a few times. A bit bitter sweet as the bookies who attend the box donate all their profits on the sanctuary day to the charity. So, what was great for the guests isn’t good for the horses. Never mind, I guess if they are having fun they will be more likely to attend other days.

The 2018 Racehorse Sanctuary Race Day at Sandown Park

The 2018 Racehorse Sanctuary Race Day: Afternoon Tea

After a few races and a mixed set of results for Tara and I it was time to head back to the tables for Afternoon tea! Yummy, I adore afternoon tea and I remembered it being rather delish last time. They had changed the way the served the tea, making it more like a buffet which was a little odd but meant less waste so that can only be a good thing. Like last year it was absolutely divine. The food is exceptional and makes it so worthwhile. Tara had a very long drive home, so we said our goodbyes and set off on our way home. I have to say I do love a posh day out and the Racehorse Sanctuary didn’t disappoint. It’s just a shame I have to wait until February for the next one, this time at Fontwell Park. It would be nice to see some of you there.

The 2018 Racehorse Sanctuary Race Day at Sandown Park