We spent a day at the races the other weekend. Ascot? Not quite. But there was plenty of good people-watching at THE GOAT RACE, with east London trendies slouching and strutting, against a backdrop of chilled-out tunes from the live DJ.
Held on the same weekend as the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race (geddit?), the Oxford & Cambridge Goat Race at Spitalfields City Farm is only in its 3rd year, but almost 700 tickets had been pre-sold!
Just down the road from Brick Lane, Spitalfields City Farm offers multiple attractions for kiddies, including tree houses and a playground right by the entrance. The organisers had set up a play zone with climbing structures, ride-ons, craft tables and face painting.
The Goat Race at Spitalfields City Farm
I was pleased when my OH rolled up so he could watch the boys scamper, while I headed for the Caipirinhas bar. Around 1pm, our host introduced us to Bentley (Oxford) and his sister Bramble (Cambridge). Apparently Cambridge had won the past two years – hardly surprising as she’s noticeably more sleek.
When I voiced this, a young boy who turned out to be Oxford’s ‘manager’ assured me his protégé had been training hard and was speedier than he looked. I told him I was rooting for Oxford as the under-goat.
There was plenty of time to slay before the 5pm race. We filled it by eyeing up a variety of stalls, eating too much Nutella and walnut cake, and Babe Daddy muttering about how freezing he was.
And the debut of the Stoat Race. Not that we could see anything but apparently Oxford (the stoat) won as Cambridge didn’t even get out of the box.
‘It’ll be the Oat Race, next year,’ hubby quipped.
There might be more rhyme than reason to this event, but the atmosphere as the clock hands swung towards 5 was undeniable.
The bookies closed and our host made the announcement. The throngs pressed along each side of the (unexpectedly brief) race course, some wondering aloud which direction the goats would be running.
‘Go on Oxford! Come on Cambridge!’
In a flash, it was over. Cambridge had taken it, by several yards. So much for Oxford’s hidden talents.
In the end we didn’t even meet any other farm animals (except for a couple of Gorilla and Goat impersonators), however I’m planning a return visit soon.
The final clash was an anticlimax, but the Goat Race was a gre-eh-eh-at day out.
Visit Spitalfields City Farm for details of the next Oxford v Cambridge Goat Race.