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Steeplechase Tailgate Decor & Time-Fillers

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  • Steeplechase Tailgate Decor & Time-Fillers

    I need COTH's help! I am organizing a group of 6-8 people to attend the Atlanta Steeplechase. So far, it's split 50/50 between the horsey set and the non-horsey set. I'm surprising everyone with doing some 'decorating' for tailgate spot and have a few ideas so far, but would love input on how to make it fun & special for everyone.

    We'll be tailgating out of my Dodge Ram, so I am thinking of using the tailgate as the 'buffet' line and putting a hunter green runner across it. I have this leather horse http://bit.ly/dN5x2B and will pick up a Phaelenopsis potted flower to stage with it. Any ideas for equine-themed, inexpensive serving trays? I have a glass pitcher with a frosted image of a foxhunter over a fence that we will serve sangria out of. I also have an equine-themed silver wine bucket for the Wild Horse wine Yay for year-end awards! For the guys, I'm trying to source some 'Horse Piss Beer' as this brand donates to the fund for disabled jockeys with every purchase.

    For paperware, I'm ordering these http://bit.ly/fHpdHP with just solid napkins and these cups http://bit.ly/gS4tMb . I'm going to spray paint some horse shoes antique gold as paperweights.

    We will also have a pop up tent. I'm not sure what to put under it, though. Everyone will be bringing their own chairs, and I'm thinking I'll bring a few hay bales for any folks who visit our spot. Any ideas for the tent? I'm bringing the 3 step mounting block from the barn, in case anyone wants to sit in the bed of the truck for a better view of the race.

    What about time-filler games? We will be getting there around 11 and then it's a sprawled out day of post parades, terrier races, etc. I don't want the non-horsey set to get bored! I'd love to set up a pin the jockey on the racehorse game, but nowhere to hang...

    Thank you COTH in advance for any ideas!!!
    CLIPclop Bodyclipping by Morgan
    Serving North GA with high quality clips.
    --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
    --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred

  • #2
    Make sure tents are allowed at your parking space. They're banned at some races because they block the view for other spectators.

    Don't worry about "fillers"... people watching, wandering back and forth to check out other tailgate set-ups, vendors, eating, drinking and chatting will take up everyone's time whether they're horsey or not.

    But maybe - institute your own "hat contest"?

    Have fun!
    Patience pays.


    • #3
      horseandhound.com has some racing-themed paper plates and party supplies, I believe.
      Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck; some nights I call it a draw. -- fun.

      My favorite podcasts: Overdue, The Black Tapes, Tanis, Rabbits, How Did This Get Made?, Up and Vanished.


      • #4
        There is usually enough stuff going on that you don't get bored. I volunteered one year as mounted patrol at the Steeplechase. That was one long ass day consisting of herding drunks off the course before each race. That was my one and only mounted patrol duty and it will last me a lifetime.

        Be sure to take your sunscreen. I've gotten fried there a few times.
        Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


        • #5
          The pitcher of sangria sounds great, but make sure you are allowed to bring glass anything (beer bottles too) onto the grounds. Typically, for the safety of the horses and drunks, glass containers are not allowed at 'chase venues.

          For decorating, if you can score a dead animal, preferably properly taxadermied, and a hunted animal like a fox or coyote, then you are "in."

          eta: http://www.atlantasteeplechase.org/s...egulations.pdf Here's the rules. No glass, no tent bigger than 10x10.


          • #6
            Our traditional between-races game at Stoneybrook is Shut The Box.

            Instead of a factory-made version, we had one that was made on-the-spot from a cardboard box and a coathanger. It lasted many years and was patched up with Duct Tape (yeah, we're kinda redneck).

            Our rules allow the player to use any combination of tiles that would total the sum of the numbers on the dice. It allows for some creative strategies. The person to flip the final tile is the winner.

            As the day wore on and adult beverages were consumed, the kitty could get pretty big.
            The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
            Winston Churchill


            • #7
              Horse Country Saddlery always has a great selection of jockey silks paper plates, napkins etc, as well as tea towels, table clothes and more. If you don't already get the catalog go to horsecountrylife.com. If you do not have real silver platters to serve off of try the dollar store! They have "silver" plastic platters. These and rustic baskets will lend a very country chic flair to your tailgate. I wouldn't worry about games. Try maybe a dollar betting pool to keep everyone interested for each race. Also make sure you have plenty of water, and not just tonic or club soda! Hope you enjoy!
              Originally posted by The Saddle
              Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.


              • #8
                Most likely it will be a warm sunny day. I would put food under the pop up for the shade.

                Depending on where you are parked, sometimes the truck bed can give you some extra height to view things...so chairs, etc and people sit on the rails, etc.

                I am fanactical about food...like food on ice. I went to a tailgate and food was out in the sun, and it kind of freaked me out. think tomaine! or salmonella.

                Plan your food to be food that can be out for longer without growing bacteria.
                Also, large bowls(I have tons of metal ones.(restaurant store supply) that I put ice in, and then put the bowl of food in that.

                Enjoy the planning...and the day.

                During the day, people will be very busy, so don't worry so much about entertaining with games, etc. Maybe do a betting thing, but in my experience, you eat, you nosh, you walk around, you eat, nosh, walkaround, oh, and you do watch as they run by.
                save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks for all the tips guys! Our tent will be well within the 10x10 but good point on the glass aspect. I didn't even think of that! Looks like it will be boxed wine, can beer, & a plastic pitcher (I think I'll put one of those Cookie's Window Clings on it to horsify it!).

                  I will definitely look into the Shut the Box game and I'm also going to incorporate a betting aspect with chips. Person with the most chips at end of day wins big plush pony!
                  CLIPclop Bodyclipping by Morgan
                  Serving North GA with high quality clips.
                  --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
                  --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred