Race Night

Finally with just over a week to go until we fly to Peru we had our last fundraiser. This time we’d organised a charity Race Night at Th’Owd Tithe Barn, the pub we have used as a base for all emergancy Plan F meetings over the last few months. Having become regulars we were blessed to get to know a rather unique gentleman called Mooch (Don’t ask why, we don’t know, his real name is Dave). Mooch runs the Tithe Barn pub quiz which we’ve also been regularly attending in an attempt to win each week as part of the Plan F Pub Quiz Challenge. Getting to know what we were doing and like all others, thinking it was a thoroughly ridiculous idea, he offered to help us out in any way he could and suggested we organised a Race Night.

Neither Al nor I really fully understood how it worked but agreed to it and sorted out the date with the landlord, made posters, advertised it in the local press etc in hope that we could get as many people there as possible. A last minute dash around town had proved fruitfull and we now had a shed load of really good prizes to give away on the night. We’d been asking Mooch what else we needed to do prior to the night and he just kept telling us not to worry about it and just sell all our horses before the night for £5 and if we could, sell the jockey’s for £5 too. Turns out Mooch is even more laid back than us two!

All the horses and all the jockeys sold out in a matter of a couple of days and so we were all set. Mooch casually arrives 10 minutes before its about to start, sets up, briefly explains to me that I’m the bookie and how it worked and we were off. Mooch gets on the PA system and starts announcing the odds to the already very busy pub. Cupids Stunt 250-1, Wonky Donkey 130-1. A little bit of poo came out at that point as both Al and I looked at each other and thought if one of these comes in and someone has bet a quid we will be ruined and Marie Curie will be going into administration. Not to worry though as Mooch had it covered. Turned out that they were the initial odds, once you bet on them the odds reduced significantly to a point where we would actually be able to pay the winners out if they won. I’ll not lie to you, there was a moment of panic from both of us and a few concerned faces around the pub too.

A few races in and people were getting really into it, screaming for their horses to win, more importantly I had the cash and we weren’t in debt by thousands of pounds! Once all the races had finished we held an auction race. The final 6 horses were to be auctioned off to the highest bidder and everyone of the owners was guarenteed a prize, the top prize being the £100 voucher for the Sparling. The first horse sold for £20 and both Al and I were thinking if all 6 went for around that much we’d make a tidy sum. Second horse went for £25, Third went for £40 then we were on to selling the fourth horse, it got to £40 in a matter of seconds, then £50, £60, £70, £80, £85, and then George who I’d been doing the betting with put in a final bid for £90 and it was sold. We couldn’t quite believe it. The final two horses both sold for around £40 and so it was time for the big race…

It was neck and neck for a good while but in the end George’s horse which he had paid £90 for won the race and there was a huge cheer. What a top man! Everyone seemed to have a great night and as everyone started to leave we were left in the pub with a couple of the lads that I work with and George. Kieron decided he wanted one last race and so made everyone throw in £5 with the winning prize being £10 and we’d take the remaining £20… seemed like a good idea to us. After a rather heated final ileagal race, Marti won, much to the annoyance of Kieron and Dave.

After walking back to Plan F HQ, Al and I had another beer whilst counting our takings for the night and were so surpised with the number we came up with on the first count that we counted it again.. yes, we had made £781.00. We couldn’t believe it, this was followed by a lot of cheers’ing and then it dawned on us, we had just 9 days to sort everything out. 9 days… minus the 5 days I was working and the 3 days Al was on a stag do in Amsterdam which left us with just one day next week to sort everything out. Good job we don’t like planning isn’t it??

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