Was the Old Salem Farm Gold Cup Enough to Satisfy My Sports Craving?
Over this past weekend, the 46th Annual America's Gold Cup returned to Old Salem Farm in North Salem. Would it fulfill the cravings of an old fashioned sports fan?
Now, I'm a sports kinda guy, and there's nothing like going to a live sporting event. I recently saw some of the Olympic Equestrian events in Rio, but would this competition satisfy my inner sports craving? Saturday, I was at Old Salem Farm broadcasting live, so I figured I would put it to the test.
Now, let me start by saying this is not the Yankees or Mets, Giants or Jets. It's not even the NBA or NHL, but it is one of the premiere riding events in the U.S., and attracts riders from 17 nations. Hey, they even have a jumbo-tron and scoreboards.
Now, all this is good -- competitors from around the world, scoreboards, a jumbo-tron -- this is actually starting to feel like a big time sporting event. You also notice flags from around the world, stadium announcers, and plenty of food and vendors. The only thing I couldn't find was any betting windows. See, anytime I see horses, especially when there's a competition, I want to place a bet. Maybe even bet a trifecta.
So, I started to watch some of the competition and talk to some of the riders. Could I be getting sucked in the more I understood what was actually happening? The hundreds in attendance all seemed to be into it, with polite claps and even a few oohs and aahs. I WAS getting sucked in. I actually began rooting for each rider, and pulling for them to beat the time of the latest leader. When they knocked down one of the poles, which is a time penalty, I found myself feeling badly that their ride and quest for the top spot on the leader board was all but gone. Hey, I was starting to think this was the real deal, and you know what? It really is.
So, was it enough to satisfy my sports craving? Was it enough to satiate my hunger for the human drama of athletic competition? I think the answer is yes. Go figure, a guy who's only been on a horse once or twice in my life -- I actually had a blast. Plus, they have a jumbo-tron. Now, that's what a sporting event is all about.
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