It's that time of year again - Christmas season has arrived! As an early-December baby, I usually try to avoid the Christmas fanfare until after my birthday, but it's getting harder to do that when Benji gets so excited by it all! So in the spirit of giving (and whilst I'm writing my own Christmas shopping list), here's my Racing inspired 12 Days of Christmas Gift Guide:
*Merry Christmas! Don't forget a carrot or lump of sugar for your four-legged friends!
1. Race Club Membership
Spoil any racing fan with a membership to their favourite metropolitan or country race club. Club membership offers a range of fantastic benefits including premium access to Members Reserve areas, Members only events, promotions and offers, Reward Points, reciprocal rights and much more. Melbourne Racing Club's Refer a Friend promotion offers 5,000 Pegasus Rewards Points to current MRC members who purchase a Membership as a gift or refer a friend.
Every woman loves a new bag and Bag Queen offer a fantastic selection of handbags, wallets, clutches and accessories. Their quality goods are all named after racehorses, trainers, jockeys and racetracks. The Marmelo and Miss Moneypenny are on my wish list!
3. Raceday Dining
Horse racing coupled with good food and wine is always guaranteed to make for a great day at the races! Most race clubs offer a premium dining experience with prime track viewing for an intimate dining experience for 2, through to a corporate suite for 40 guests. Visit racing.com for a full list of Victorian race clubs.
4. Bucket List Trip
Previously I've written about my Top 10 bucket list race meetings to attend (read it HERE). Christmas is the perfect excuse to actually lock away that must-attend trip you or your significant other keep talking about.
There is a plethora of horse racing books covering all topics from the history of racing, short stories, autobiographies and punting guides. Recently released books highlighting Australian racing personalities include jockeys Jim Cassidy and Michelle Payne, Black Caviar's trainer Peter Moody, So You Think, Subzero and Might and Power. Head to Dymocks, Horse Books, or Amazon to browse and buy your favourites.
6. Horse Shares
Horse ownership is a gift that keeps on giving! There are plenty of registered syndicators and promoters in Victoria and New South Wales offering shares in horses, or contact your preferred horse trainer for more details. Just remember that horses, like pets, are a gift for life and there are regular, ongoing costs.
Inspired by all things equestrian, Australian made and owned EJ and Co Equestrian Jewellery has a great range of designs including bracelets, earring, tie pins and cufflinks for any horse lover. If you're after something a little more personalised, Equinelox offers bespoke jewellery combined with braided tail hair from your horse.
8. Racing Memorabilia
There's so many options available for racing memorabilia - framed images, keyrings, stubby holders, mugs or replica silks or saddlecloths. Check our Racing Photos, or Official Memorabilia (for a limited time, use promo code SENDITFREE for free delivery within Australia) - but get in quick as personalised orders may have Christmas cut off dates.
The Horseman's Bookshop also offers a great range of vintage and rare racebooks, prints, games and other memorabilia.
9. Ladies in Racing magazine subscription
Ladies in Racing magazine is the only national magazine published in Australia for the lady who loves thoroughbred horse racing. Published three times per annum, the magazine covers the latest information on racing events and carnivals, prominent industry personnel, lady trainers, jockeys, breeders and social events. Subscribe HERE.
10. Racewear-worthy Outifts
The races have become one of the few places where you are expected to put in an effort and get dressed up. There are a number of fashion retailers that sponsor the racing industry, including Harrolds, Ted Baker, Peter Jackson and Alannah Hill. What girl wouldn't love a gift voucher to her favourite milliner? This horse motif tie from David Jones makes a great stocking filler.
11. Charity Donation
If you prefer to donate to charity in lieu of gift giving, The National Jockeys Trust do a fantastic job of supporting those in the racing industry. The NJT are dedicated to providing funds and other benefits for the relief of financial difficulties for jockeys, apprentice jockeys and their families, when faced with serious injury, illness and even death. Living Legends, Victoria's home of rest for retired champion racehorses, also accepts donations to assist in the continual care of their charges.
12. Personalised Racing Silks
Every budding little jockey needs their own set of racing silks! Hyland Sportswear offers personalised silks in both adult and kids sizes. They also provide a range of other gift items, as well as horse and rider gear.
Merry Christmas and Happy Shopping!
NOTE: With the exception of the Melbourne Racing Club and Ladies in Racing magazine, I am in no way affiliated with any of the above companies mentioned in this blog post.
*Images L to R: Hyland's kids silks, Kangaroo Island raceday experiences, Equilox Bracelet.