Badoom, badoom, badoom

2011-04-15 00:00

PETE, my good friend and colleague, owned a racehorse years back. In fact, he raced a number of them over his early years as a practising vet. Some, as I recall, even won him some money, but the one that inspires this story definitely did not.

He was a large, handsome chestnut gelding who would not have looked out of place pulling milk carts or appearing in pictures advertising German beer. At least 17 hands high at the withers with a sweeping mane and feathers over feet as big as wicket-keepers’ gloves.

And when he galloped one could hear him before one saw him. “Badoom, Badoom, Badoom.” It was as distinctive as a fingerprint. I forget his real name but it sounded something like Carbuncle and this is what is imprinted in my tiny mind, so this is what it shall remain for the rest of this story.

A mutual friend, riding the crest of a boom in his business, sponsored a race-day at lovely Scottsville one fine summer Saturday. A large marquee was erected on the in-field in line with the finish, from which he could entertain his customers, clients and business associates and he enlisted the aid of his friends to assist him in this endeavour. Those of masculine persuasion were delegated the task of manning skottel braais in a courtyard behind the marquee, from which kebabs, boerewors and other delicacies were delivered to the guests by our girlfriends, young wives and consorts, far better looking and much more responsible than we were. They invariably returned with rehydration liquid for the budding chefs — it being a hot summer’s day and dehydration was a real threat.

Carbuncle was running in the last race, an event featuring horses of such dubious talent that the outcome was a lottery. But even in this poor field, Pete’s pony attracted limited attention, his name reclining quietly at the bottom of the bookmaker’s boards. All us braai-masters had placed sizeable bets on him, however, a show of solidarity for our good friend overriding common sense.

The day progressed swimmingly and we reached the latter part of the afternoon in escalating good spirits. At a time, during a lull in the banter, someone shouted: “Listen! Badoom, Badoom, Badoom.” In an instant our braai tongs were discarded as we high-tailed it toward the picket fence at the finish post. I still have a vivid image of the flotilla of aprons of various hues and sizes, adorned with gaudy motifs and captions flapping in the breeze like superman’s capes in front of me as we descended on the line just in time to see Carbuncle streak past, at least two lengths clear of the field.

A scene of utter jubilation erupted and between a flurry of back-slapping and high fives, we dribbled our way back to our posts, loudly deliberating how we would spend our new-found riches. We could not find Pete, however, but assumed he was preparing to lead in the victor, in the presence of kings and queens and other such luminaries who us commoners assume reside in the owners and trainers enclosure.

At some stage, someone commented that there was still a rumble of commentary in the background, a detail we elected to ignore in our euphoric state until it became more animated and demanding of our attention. At this point alarm bells started ringing and we reluctantly ambled back to our post on the fence in time to see a gaggle of ponies gallop past the finish line followed in a distant last place by a sweating Carbuncle – out of steam, out of breath and now, obviously, out of the money.

Those readers who follow the horses would immediately understand what had happened. But there we were, naive, confused and clinging to the fence rail when the penny finally dropped. The race was over 3 200 metres, nearly two laps and twice past the post of the lovely Scottsville track on a fine summer’s evening.

• The author is a practising vet with a passion for his profession and a giggle in his heart.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.