I learned all sorts of things today, but you only get to know two of them.
1. About the carrots…the reason carrots are orange is because the Dutch bred them in the 16th-17th centuries to be orange in honour of William of Orange. Originally, carrots were purple, white or red.*
2. Horses. Specifically horse racing…I went to my first ever horse race with Lawyer Housemate, The Vet and a friend of The Vet’s who flew in last night from Belgium. I put down my first ever bet on a race/game today. And won. I promptly retired from betting the horses; the only way to go from here is down. Anyway, fun was had by all. Because a. it was a small event in the middle of nowhere — seriously, it was set up in someone’s field — and b. a lot of the horse owners are clients of The Vet, we got to be really up close to the animals. It was amazing! I’ve seen horses up close before, but never horses that were bred to race. It’s insane how well defined their musculature is.
Anyway, I learned that jockeys have to be licensed, even as amateurs, which all the riders in today’s races — National Hunt, not Flat — were. I guess the rule is that anyone who rides a horse in a competitive race must be licensed.** I suppose this makes sense…it cuts down the risk of injury to the animal and to the rider.
*There is some discussion about whether or not they were actually bred to honour William of Orange, but more information about carrots can be read here.