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Horse Racing on a Cruise? The Ruby Princess Shows How

There are many different reasons for going on a cruise. Some people love the idea of soaking up some sun by the pool, while others are tempted by the great food and drinks on offer. Another reason for sailing off into the ocean is because of the terrific range of sports on offer.

Swimming, golf, and tennis are all popular sports onboard these ships, but you might not think that horse racing is the type of thing that can be carried out on a cruise. However, the creative staff on the Ruby Princess have shown us that it can be done in a memorable, fun way.

The Horse Races They Offer

They don’t pile thoroughbred horses and their jockeys onto the Ruby Princess. Instead, they have come up with an innovative game where guests can bet on dummy horses. The six numbered runners are placed on a grid and people can bet a few dollars on the winner.

The caller then uses a bingo-style set up to pull out the numbers. Every time a particular horse’s number is called, it advances one square on the grid. This video of the event shows how it turns into a pretty exciting race with those who have placed bets thoroughly enjoying it.

You aren’t going to win a fortune in this way, but it seems like a fun way to pass some time on a cruise. The winnings are paid out from the entry fees and are usually modest.

Horse Racing on Cruise Ships in the Past

This seems such a good idea that we decided to take a look at whether other cruise ships have ever done something similar. It turns out that horse racing used to be a big part of cruising for a lot of people.

This look at some cruise trips from the 20th century gives us a glimpse of some of the other ways that staff have managed to organize exciting races while sailing the seven seas. For example, we can see passengers on the RMS Oransay travelling from San Francisco.

This long trip involved going through the Suez Canal, and no doubt it was made even more interesting by the races that were run. In this case, a group of female guests reeled in each wooden horse using a fishing line.

Another example shows us how people used to buy each horse before races on cruise ships. On various travel forums, we can read warm memories of how these wooden horses would be auctioned for sizeable sums of cash.

Some passengers would even dress up their horses and take them to dinner in the run-up to the race night. The owners would try to encourage other passengers to bet on their horse. The race itself would see the horses move forwards on the roll of the dice. 

While this tradition has faded away on most routes, there are suggestions that it is still fairly common in some parts of the world, such as the Australia and Pacific region.

Other Ways to Enjoy Horse Racing on a Cruise

If you love watching big horse races, you should check whether there is a sports bar on board that shows the latest events. When major events like the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and Dubai World Cup take place there are sure to be a lot of passengers interested in watching it. Visit website of TwinSpires to learn more about Kentucky Derby and other horse racing events.

Choose a ship with a good Wi-Fi connection and you can get up to date information online for the next races. In this way, you can see who the favorites are and place bets on those horses that you think have a good chance of winning.

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