Our Life in Burgundy

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August 16, 2015

An afternoon’s horseracing at Cluny

Filed under: Events,Places,Weather — Tags: , , — Mary @ 22:09

We’ve had rain! After a summer of incredibly hot days and drought we’ve enjoyed a good drop of rain recently. It is amazing how quickly the fields have turned green and the potagers have emerged from their dormancy.

If it hadn’t rained and softened the ground there would have been no racing at Cluny today. If the ground is too hard it is dangerous for both horse and rider. All the showjumping events at the Equivallée have been moved to Mâcon for the whole summer as drought restrictions mean the arenas cannot be watered.

I went with my neighbour’s family and we were invited to cross over to the starting boxes to see how the horses were loaded and the race started.

 

Most of the horses had to be encouraged to go into the box…

 

but this one must have been pushed too hard as it shot out the other side.

And they’re off!

There was flat racing, trotting and steeplechasing. The start of the trotting race was chaotic with the starter trying to get the horses to circle and come up to the line together. It was a handicap race so the better horses had to start a little further back.

Steeplechasing is the most exciting. The jumps are enormous and it is fairly certain that somebody will fall. A Croix Rouge ambulance races round the outside of the track to keep up.

 

An extra item was a parade of working horses. And afterwards a chance to meet the mares with their foals.

 See how dark the Percheron foal is compared with his mother.

The syndicate that runs the Hippodrome wants the race days to attract families so there is plenty of entertainment for the children. A bouncy giraffe and free candyfloss. Donkey and pony rides.

 

So a race day at Cluny is not just for hard-nosed punters but offers an enjoyable afternoon out for everyone. There are two race days left this year, on 30th August and 20th September. It’s well worth a visit.

 

August 2, 2015

Vide Grenier at Donzy

Filed under: Events,Places,Village Life — Tags: , — Mary @ 17:17

Donzy le Pertuis is a picture postcard village nestling on the other side of the hill from us in the direction of Azé. At 426m in altitude it is a little higher than Cortambert and in winter often surprises us with its fairy tale sparkle of snow on the rooftops.

There is a local patois which Donzy helps to keep alive. Some translations and a bit of local history can be found on  www.donzy-le-pertuis.fr

Today there was not a cloud in the sky and we went up to Donzy for its annual vide grenier. There was a eclectic variety of goods on stalls along the winding streets of pretty stone houses and outside the romanesque church of Saint-Julien.

Church of Saint-Julien

 

Many of the 150 or so residents were out with their stalls or picnicking en famille under the shade of the trees.  The smell of the barbeque at the buvette persuaded us to stay and have lunch.

 

Friendly stallholders with a variety of treasures….

I steered Chris away from the bicycles (we usually don’t leave without one) and instead came home with a lovely set of coffee cups. Thank you Donzy!

 

 

 

 

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