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Falkirk Downs

Date: 06-24-09
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 21

He patted Conor's shoulder in consolation then turned to watch the final race.

The next race was already underway but the competitive Quinn brother, the youngest of the three, had yet to recover from the previous race!

"Blackbird has shot to the lead out of the gates with White Satin close behind followed by Golden Lady."

"Blackbird is Gabriel's horse." He told Conor, just because he thought he should know.

"Fitting." He responded. Winged...and winning at this point.

"Blackbird is keeping the lead but not by much with White Satin close on his heels. Golden Lady, Bayda and Artemisia nose to nose for third. Blackbird is still in the lead with White Satin in second still, Bayda barely taking up third position."

Conor's smile was returning, watching as Gabriel's horse managed to stay in the lead.

"Blackbird, Bayda and White Satin with a few others not far behind as they head for the finish line. RW Blackbird takes the Win, Bayda Farasha to Place and White Satin to Show." Taking a moment to mark everything down before announcing the Hometown Race. "Anyone interested in participating in the Hometown race, please give your name and the horse you're riding to the Flagman, Ben, over there."

Lazare rose, holding his hand down to Lizabet.

He had come alive. "I will ride, make me a bet brothers..." Standing as he got his second wind finally.

Conor blinked when Segan shot to life. "Aye pick the raspberries tomorrow for Gran, all those buckets she set out for me if I beat you. The same for you Eion, if you're up for it." Conor was starting his way down to see Ben.

"I will," grinning with a sassy look Lazare's way as she was up with his assistance then heading down to claim Sassy Sally to ride for this race, "come on boys see if you can beat me." Though she had her bet with Lazare, "lesson for a meal, same as before."

Conor needed to learn which horses belonged to the stables too.  Mel had trained them.   He chuckled as he stood. "Aye, I'm up to it and if I win, the two of you can finish that last wall along the north boundary."

"Lesson for a meal, same it shall be." Lazare laughed, claiming that same Lady as before.

"And....what do I get if I beat you? I could us a good hunting knife." Not really but one could always use an extra. He claimed Prancer for he liked the name as he gave his.

Conor agreed to both with a nod, he wasn't expecting to lose.

David was going to watch this time. He headed for the tower to join Patrick.

Conor chose Dandelion. He liked the way that horse looked not even paying attention to the name.

Guess that left Eion with Thunder Thighs. Had him laughing!

Who better to control Thunder Thighs than Eion. Conor thumped his brother on the shoulder then walked around to mount.

He started laughing, "just remember how it feels.." before a quick step away swinging up into the saddle and led off to a gate.

He'd get Segan later. Up into the saddle and he too was heading to a gate.

"We have Lizabet riding Sassy Sally from Gate One, Lazare on Little Lady from Gate Two, Gate Three with Segan on Prancer, Conor on Dandelion from Gate Four and Eion on Thunder Thighs from Gate Five."

"I think a picnic might be nice." Lazare smiled to Lizabet, then prepared to win himself another meal.

Dark eyes shifted to the stall next to her, "picnic it will be and a meal to suit," giving him a wink as well flashing the other men a smile. "Eat my dust," teasing them as she leaned forward ready, she fitted those riding britches nicely.

He was watching the flagman and once all was clear, the riders ready, the flag went down. "And they're off!"

Lazare would rather not eat dust but instead, her finely prepared meal. There was only one way to decide which it would be.

"Hell," she got stuck at the gate! Well, she could watch their rears.

"We have Eion out in the lead with Segan close behind. Conor then Lazare and last but not least the fairest of them all, Lizabet."

"Come on, Dandy, we've a race to win. I don't care much for post holes." Conor urged his horse on to catch up and pass his brothers.

He hadn't expected the horse to shoot ahead. Letting out a whoop, he didn't dare glance over his shoulder and see how close the others were.

Just to distract them she was giving them all wolf whistles, fingers to her lips to make it shrill, maybe distracting them. Lazare at least was the closest."

That whistle caused his horse to shy a bit, but the King's Man managed to keep it on track at the moment.

He was hanging on as he realized something. "Does this mean.. if we both beat Conor, he has to do both chores and give a knife if I only come in second?" His mind was not too clear. "Or winner take all?"

Whichever of them beat Conor, he owed them. That would be the deal. Although, Conor planned NOT to lose to either of them!

Lazare watched as the Quinns sped on, pulling back ever so slightly to make the race a bit more competitive for one particular lady.

"Segan and Conor are nose to nose leading the others. Eion dropping back to just behind his brothers. Lazare then Lizabet, though she has caught up some. Conor has pulled out to the lead, Segan in second, Eion third by a nose, Lazare then Lizabet."

"Made a bet with each of us, so he'll work on the wall for me, knife for you. Unless he wins." Which it seemed he was going to. "Quit distracting the horse!"

His horse didn't like that much, and though Lazare attempted to keep her back, she surged forward.

"All holding their same positions as they head for the finish line."

He heard his brothers ... chatting ... as he raced past them..."Come on, now...come on!"

Seemed the wolf whistles weren't working as she best plan what to serve at a picnic! Though there was a really off chance she could still pull ahead, "come on Sassy, show your stuff!"

He was hanging on still and concentrating on getting his horse to move, possibly pass out Conor!

"The finals are in, Conor takes the Win, Eion to Place and Segan to Show, Lazare finishing just ahead of Lizabet."

Conor whooped out his relief as he crossed the finish line, pulling his horse around just in time to see his brothers come in behind him. The horse pranced and side-stepped with Conor's commands to stay still for that brief moment. Then, he realized they both were going to be picking raspberries...and that would make their load lighter. He'd have to rethink his bet the next time around.

Watch him break out in a rash or something. He might consider finding a hiding spot like he had in Ireland and disappear for a few weeks! But not before he saw to his bet.

Lazare managed to calm his racer, directing it closer to Lizabet as she slowed hers as well. "Picnic pick the place, Ma'am."

He grinned as he caught up to Conor. And Segan wouldn't be working on that wall alone. There were two lads that helped them. "How many does she expect you to pick?" Gran still had Conor working even though he had moved out?

"That concludes the races for tonight. Conor Quinn wins an elegant Traugott cuckoo clock. Eion a fine writing desk from MacGrath Furniture and Segan a finely crafted Celtic Necklace from Velvet MacShire's Jewelry. Thank you all for coming and have a good month, until we meet again."

Yes, of course she did! He received notes all the time with working orders. "She's making pies and jams for the orphanage." He chuckled. "Have fun!" He heard what he won for the race itself and whistled. That would be a nice addition to his room.

"And Lazare, a nice picnic lunch with the lovely Lizabet." Lazare added to the list of winnings, dismounting to walk over to that very lady.

"Nicely done, Patrick." He clapped his cousin on the shoulder before he headed down to meet Concessa's very large brothers.

He thanked David for the company as he got the last of the papers together. There would be one more change to make but it was a good size one and an alternative idea to propose to his siblings and cousins before implemented.

"There is always next month," trying to feign a pout but there was a spark in dark eyes. She hadn't dismounted yet as she held her hand out to him that he might assist her.

Which he did, taking her delicate hand into his and then sliding it up to under her upper arm to aid in her dismount. "Yes, and I look forward to that as well."

"Excuse me, gentlemen." He came up to the three. "I'm David Frasier. Concessa is working for me so I though it's time to introduce myself."

She slipped down easily with his assistance, maybe the closest she'd ever been to him too. Was there an inch between? She looked up only to realize he was a good head over her too. The edges of her lips curling in that moment to linger, hand falling against his chest a moment before stepping back. "Thank you Lazare."

A writing desk? That would work. He could do all the correspondence and other paper work in his room with less chance of interruption.  Well now. He turned to face David and after a brief study, offered his hand. "Pleasure to meet you, David. I'm Eion, that's Segan and Conor." Motioning to each after he released the man's hand.

He got his bearings and a bit of grumbling after a rotten few days to have it end this way. Was his luck running out? Distracted from such thoughts as he turned to evaluate this man who hired their sister. Getting in line to shake his hand, "I hope she is doing well with the new job. Thank you for giving her the opportunity."

"A pleasure, Mr. Frasier."


"Aye, she's doing very well and is a great help in organizing the office. I don't think I'd have everything in order if it weren't for her."

Lazare smiled down to her, not at all uncomfortable with her closeness, in fact, he rather enjoyed it. "Whenever you need, M'lady." He answered with all sincerity and then curled his fingers around her hand at his chest, lifting it to place a chaste kiss to her fingertips that peeked free just above his hand. His gaze held hers, then he lowered both away. His touch, his eyes... and released her completely. "Until you contact me with our picnic location then, Liz-bet. I should be heading back."

"I'm not surprised. She's a hard worker, and she seems to be pleased with the job. And as Segan said, we thank you for allowing her the opportunity."

Hands shaken, brothers met, and another race done. Not bad at all. "You're welcome, and now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll join my cousin on the ride back to Falkirk. Good night to you all, and to you Lazare and Lizabet."

Conor had seen where the Frasier man had come from and looked back up to the tower. A smile and he tapped off a salute to whomever may still be up there for a job well done. Despite the fact he had only won two races tonight, those two were enjoyed.

"If you are heading back to Heathfield, mind if I join you?" Company was more welcome than riding along or getting one of the guards to make the trip. "I will find a good time, pleasant day and let you know." She was already heading for the horses of which one was her brother's he left for her. "Good night David, Eion, Segan, Conor," smile shot their way as it had been pleasant company with them tonight.

"Good night, Mister Frasier." Lazare called to David then looked to Lizabet. "Absolutely, Lizabet, I would enjoy that greatly. Thank you."

Conor waved to the departing couple.

"Good night Mister Frasier, I'm pleased in the meet." He was going to need some sleep as he would become a work horse the next couple days. Wait.. he could get his crew to help him. All for one and one for all! That made it a bit better to bear. Time to get back. "Night Sir Lazare, Lady Lizabet."

"Do tell him, David, we had a grand time of it. Look forward to the next race."  Of course Conor enjoyed it...he didn't have to be shoulder deep in prickly raspberry bushes fighting off wasps and ants for the juiciest pickings.

Then the smile turned upon Lazare as she mounted up, waiting the few moments for him before heading out.

"Good night David. Good night Sir Lazare, Lizabet." Eion would be there as well, after the training on the King's field.

He was ready to ride back with his brothers.

And he was ready for his celebratory drink! Crap. He should have made it part of the bet that they couldn't let Gran know they were doing the picking!



Date: 07-21-08
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 22

Falkirk Downs July Races

It had rained earlier leaving that fresh scent as well turning a bit on the muggy side of things this very humid night. Still, it was not as bad as it had been earlier for at least a breeze came to move the air around. Patrick was up in the tower waiting on his men to give the clear go-ahead which came as the jockeys led the horses out to the gates. He cleared his throat over the megaphone as it rang loud and clear over the tracks and stadium. "Welcome this night to Falkirk Downs, please make yourselves comfortable as the races will be starting shortly. I apologize for the short delay but we needed to make sure the tracks were ready so we do not put the horses and jockeys in danger. Food and drink can be gained at the stands and there are umbrellas beneath the benches if needed. For our first race, starting at Gate One on down, we have Morgan, Lugh, Beowulf, Bayda Farasha, Blue Lightning, Court Jester, Kestral, Peppermint, Dusky Princess and Irish Outlaw." Which it was only moments later when all was followed by, "and they're off! Morgan and Irish Outlaw are out in front with Kestral and Lugh somewhat behind. The rest seem to have some difficulties at the starting gates."

Lizabet had gotten here earlier in helping her brother out and had a bite to eat from the food stands. Donovan shooed her away to go and enjoy the races knowing she had placed bets and ended up in the Hometown race the last two. She had a section of bench with blankets covering them for anyone wishing to join her, an invitation in and of itself.

Gus had arrived earlier and had headed down to the stands after greeting Patrick. He was watching the horses with interest, while enjoying a bottle of the pure. Being Lizabet had been so kind to cover the benches, he joined her this fine night, offering a smile as he did..

Diane had been with the horses, speaking to the jockeys and to Donovan before she finally made her was toward the stands. She was watching the horses as they ran, taking her eyes off them only to climb the stairs. Lizabet and Gus both were given warm smiles as she joined them.

Cal made his way to the races for a change being he'd not gone to any and was curious to watch since he did place bets each month. He might consider getting a horse eventually. He made his way along the fence but kept a distance from the others presently, taking a lean to watch from there.

"Dusky Princess and Irish Outlaw are neck and neck in the lead with Morgan dropping to a nose behind. The others have picked up from a slow start."

Eion had waited to see if any of the women wanted to join him tonight but they were all busy. He promised to keep track of the winners and finally made his way to the stands. Pausing there, he watched the first race. He'd look around for his brothers in a minute.

Segan slipped in coming up behind his brother placing a hand to his shoulder. "Need a drink?" Hand falling away as he brought up the bottle of potcheen. He had eaten a good meal earlier. "I met an Elf the other night, Rhiannon." Something like that and if he pronounced it wrong it might well be because he'd been distracted. "They really are a fair and beautiful race." Though in these lands there was as many beautiful humans.

"Dusky Princess has surged ahead as Irish Outlaw falls quite behind, Lugh coming up to take second position with Morgan close behind."

"Can always use a drink." He had eaten earlier as well, a lunch packed by Gran. "Really?" He looked at Segan and chuckled. "Seems to be the norm here even for humans." He made a face. "Outlaw isn't doing too well." Then he added, for clarification. "Gemma's horse." The horse had been doing well at the start. Something he'd note too.

"Lugh has pulled ahead of Dusky Princess by a head, Morgan and Beowulf nose to nose in third position. This will be a close race between these four as they head for the finish line. Dusky Princess managed to surge ahead of Lugh taking the Win while Lugh Placed, Beowulf came up from behind to Show."

Diane had  papers with her and was writing after the announcements were made. It would help her remember which horses needed extra work.

He nudged Eion with a slight uplift of chin towards Diane. "She must have something to do with the horses with all those papers. Looks like she is working while here." He wasn't sure if he brought his stub with the horse he bet on with him.

Eion never remembered his but had a good idea which he bet on. Usually the horses that family owned and Mel trained. "Aye, it does at that." Answering as he looked toward the stands.

"For our second race, starting at Gate One on down.. we have Golden Dawn, Cream and Sugar, Royal Pride, Magic Dust, Nemain, Kenchi, Justified Silver, Song of Eire, Lace Stockings and lastly Ash and Stone." Waiting until the man flagged and the gates opened, "and they're off!"

Gus never remember his stub. He just enjoyed the racers though of course, he did bet on Frasier horses.

She was looking up to watch again though she did noticed the two men looking toward the stands and sent them both a brilliant smile to share.

"We have Nemain as well Ash and Stone out in the lead from the gates with Justified Silver close behind. Only two are having trouble getting started, Royal Pride and Golden Dawn."

Which had him waving back as a smile dashed. Nudging Eion like there was one for him to meet. Like Eion wanted to get hooked up. Ha!

He blinked then looked up and waved as well. Segan got a look for the nudge however.

Well, well that wasn't much better than the first race. She might have to re-think the training.  And of course, she waved when the two gentlemen did the same.

"Justified Silver has taken a good lead with Nemain in second, Ash and Stone as well Lace Stockings not far behind. Justified Silver is still in the lead but Lace Stockings is coming up from behind to challenge that lead, Cream and Sugar as well Royal Pride contending for third spot."

Diane would find Lizabet taking up a spot next to her. "I can help with that if you'd like." Slight smirk curled the edges of her lips as her words came low. "Looks like you have two admirers but check out the Innis knight down along the rail." Oh yea, she didn't mind a mighty find sight of a man. "I'd say it would be hard to choose, wouldn't you? Between the three and that dashing Frasier man in the Tower. Maybe we can go play Rapunzel."

"Four if you count the quiet Frasier sitting near." She kept her voice low as she answered though she did laugh. "I wouldn't dare try to choose. Likely I'd pick the one who was with a lass." She looked down at the papers which were marked with the names of her horses. I'm just marking where they came in and what I think needs working on. I'm Diane Cleary."

"Justified Silver is keeping the lead with Cream and Sugar in second spot. Lace Stockings has come up from behind into third position as they head for the finish line."

"Aye, you'd like seeing me hooked up, wouldn't you? Between Gran, a wife and the training I'm doing, I wouldn't have a moment's rest." He was kidding, not minding the thought at all.  Though of course, he wouldn't voice it. Best to let them think otherwise unless it happened on its own.

"This one has been close as the judges conferred, the results are in, Justified Silver takes the Win with Royal Pride to Place and Cream and Sugar to Show."

The races were always excellent but when they were that close it added a bit of excitement. He grinned as he prepared to watch the next race.

"Mmmmmm, yes," with a touch of laughter as she caught sight of the quiet Frasier. "I would not have known he was there if you had not said something." Dipping a glance to her papers, "yes, I know actually. My brother is Donovan McKnight, I'm his sister Lizabet. I've helped check out your horses as well the others in the races."

Fae blue eyes turned in the direction of the two ladies. He had recently met Diane and knew Lizabet through Lazare and having seen her around. A touch of a smile hinted with a cordial nod if they notice him looking their way, then an upnod to Eion and his brother, knowing more of Eion than the other.

"So you're the pretty doctor the jockeys were talking about." She teased as she offered here a few of the papers. "I'd appreciate your help. Trying to keep track of all of them isn't easy." The papers were easy enough to do. She spotted Cal and smiled as she waved at him. Yes, she remembered!

"I think it would help to settle you. Bring you some peace." But that was his opinion and if he was starting to notice women more in that way, certainly Eion should be then also. His way of thinking. Calhoun got a return upnod in a cordial greeting. Segan knew the man to see him as probably the same for Cal.

"For our third race we have starting at Gate One on down, "Avatar, Altair, Fairuzhd, Amber Dancer, Renegade Star, Artemisia, Lavender, Smoky Trails, Fandango and Legacy and Lace." Which barely through the list when the flag went down, gates went up and he shouted, "and they're off!"

"I'm settled enough." He gave Segan another look. "You're going to have me thinking you're plotting with Gran. He lifted a hand to greet Cal, an easy smile given to the man. Then his attention was back on the race.

"It is a slow start for most of the races but we have Fandango taking the lead with Artemisia in second place and the rest in a group struggling for third. Fandango is still out in front with a few finally getting out of that cluster, Artemisia, Renegade Star and Avatar."

"That's your horse." Just in case Segan didn't remember.

"Fandango has dropped behind as Artemisia has taken the lead, Renegade Star in second place, Amber Dancer, Avatar then Fandango."

"I was trying not to notice, now look.." nudging Eion like it was his fault but Segan was laughing.

"Bah." He snorted then grinned. "I'll keep me mouth shut next time."

"We have Amber Dancer and Renegade Star nose to nose in first place, Artemisia a head behind with Avatar then Fandango. Any of those could place in this race as they head for the finish line."

Fandango might still have a chance but he was last with those chances. "Give it all you got Fandango and I'll see you have extra carrots and apples this week!" He was not below bribing.

"Is that what they are saying? I'd say there is a bunch of flirting jockeys and stable men, not just the lads then." Taking some of the sheets as she'd help out. "My horse hasn't come up yet but I hear bribery."

If it worked, Gus might try it!

"Well, they're sure to notice, especially if you're working with your brother. And I have to say you're both doing a wonderful job with them." She chuckled, softly. "I wonder if bribing works." Avatar would certainly get extra treats this week! She was quite pleased with him. Then again, she'd probably give them all extra. Just because they had raced.

"Another close race as the judges have the finals. Avatar has come up from behind to take the Win. Renegade Star to Place and Amber Dancer by a fraction over Artemisia to Show. For our Fourth Race we have starting at Gate One on down, Charlie's Angel, Ala' al Din, Gypsy Prince, Shaya, Shooting Star, Nutmeg, Harvest Gold, Silent Thunder, Pretty Milkmaid and Joker's Wild." Watching for the flag as it was down moments later and the gates up, horses bolting, "and they're off! We have Ala al din and Silent Thunder nose to nose ahead of the others. Shooting Star and Harvest Gold not far behind."

Gus sat up so he could watch Thunder though it took all he could to not let out a whoop for the horse. He knew how things could change in the drop of a hat.

"Shooting Star has taken the lead with Silent Thunder close behind as well Ala al din. Pretty Milkmaid leading the rest. Silent Thunder has moved a head past Shooting Star with Harvest Gold breaking away from the group to move into third place. Ala al Din Shaya and Pretty Milkmaid lagging behind some."

This was an exciting race even if he couldn't remember who he had bet on.

"Shooting Star has moved ahead of Silent Thunder again, Harvest Gold keeping third with Ala al Din a nose behind as they head for the finish line. We have Silent Thunder to take the Win, Shooting Star to Place and Ala al Din to Show."

At first Gus just stared, then he stood up and let out a loud whoop! And sent an apologetic smile to the two women.

She smiled Gus' way as it had been excitingly close, she was happy that her horse placed. Giving him that smile in a way to let him know that in the friendly manner it was given.

"For our Fifth Race tonight, we have starting at Gate One on down, Leviathan, Rag Doll, Rip Roaring, Snake Bite, Paddy's Lad," here he paused with a grin as he had gotten the horse for himself, "Arion, Cottage Rose, Roxanne, RW Blackbird," which was one of the favorites, "and Windchaser." Watching for the flag as it went down, gates up and horses out, "and they're off! Leviathan has shot to the lead, Rip Roaring in second place with Arion and Windchaser nose to nose in third. Leviathan is keeping the lead with Rip Roaring coming into second spot. RW Blackbird close behind. These positions could change easily."


Conor ran through the spectators' gate, practically skidding to a halt to slow his pace. He watched the horses that were on the track then glanced up to the stands to seek out and, aye-there they were, find his brothers. He passed the palm of his hand across the back of his neck then started in their direction. Late but not absent in the end.

"RW Blackbird has pulled out in front with Rip Roaring on his heels. Leviathan in third spot with Arion and Cottage Rose very close behind. Cottage Rose has pulled into the lead with Arion and RW Blackbird nose to nose in second. Rip Roaring a head behind them and Rag Doll not far behind either as they head for the finish line." This was going to be a very close race.

He grinned as Conor approached and held out the bottle he had never given back to Segan. He had gotten too caught up in the races.



Date: 07-21-08
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 23

"Don't tell me you got stuck behind the barn with Mary Lou this night," teasing him and using a made up name rather than any Conor had really been seen with.

"We have Cottage Rose to take the Win. Leviathan to Place and Rag Doll to Show." Which the last may have come as a surprise. For our Sixth and Last race for tonight, we have starting at Gate One on down, Lil Darlin, Golden Lady, Maeldun, Red Knight, Solid Rock, Forest Nymph, Dapper Dan, Seanchai, White Satin and Gold Dust."  Watching for the flag as it was down moments later, the rush at the gate would draw all eyes there, "and they're off!

"Laura Lei." Conor took his seat and grinned his correction to Segan, reaching over as he did to accept the bottle from Eion with a nod of thanks. He glanced out over the field as he held the bottle out toward Segan.

"Solid Rock has shot to the lead with White Satin on his hooves. Forest Nymph, Lil Darlin and Red Knight not far behind."

Lizabet nudged Diane, "there is another of the brothers," quietly with the curl of a hinted smile.

Which he had to laugh, "there's a list of them, I know." Taking the bottle as he slugged back a good mouthful as he watch the horses run the track.

"A third?" And each one handsome. She leaned slightly to study the third then looked at Lizabet. "More choices."

"Lil Darlin and White Satin are nose to nose in the lead. Forest Nymph and Gold Dust nose to nose for second place with Solid Rock dropping behind the foursome."

He just covered his eyes and groaned. Seanchai was goofing off tonight!

"Getting lazy tonight?" He looked toward Eion again then glanced over the stands. He nodded off a hello to any that met his eyes, took in the others, before looking back to the field once more.

"Forest Nymph has moved into the lead with White Satin close behind. Red Knight then Lil Darlin, Maeldun and Solid Rock necking it out behind the others." Here too there could easily be an upset. "Forest Nymph is still in the lead with Red Knight close behind. Solid Rock has moved up ahead of White Satin and Maeldun close behind her as they head for the finish line." This was a very close race as the judges took a few moments in their final decision. "Red Knight moved up to take the Win with White Satin to Place and Maeldun to Show. Anyone wishing to join in the Hometown race, please let Ralph know, your name and the horse you're riding." Indicating the flagman of the night.

Conor shifted on his seat, leaning to look from one brother to the next. "How did my Song do?" He stood as the announcement for the hometown race was called out.

"Not too well, I'm sorry to say. You should get Melantha to work with him, ah.." clearing his throat, "he came in last."

Conor shook his head with frustration. "Aye, might just do that." He was seriously considering it actually. "Listen, Brothers." He started down the stands on his way to claim a horse. "I've just woven a couple of very nice, leather leading ropes. Nearly had my fingers cramped up with the working of it." He grinned back at them as he started across the field. "Up for grabs if you think you can beat me to the end of the field."

"They both need working with." He looked at his brothers and started after Conor. Why not?

He waggled his finger, "all because you were not here to cheer him on." Like it had anything to do with it as he was quickly down to claim a horse. "Ole Seadog." Was appropriate as he mounted up, "Segan Quinn."

Gus didn't usually take part in the race but tonight he would and it was Grainne he went for after giving the man his name and the horse's name.

"I'll give you more of that Spanish leather if you beat me, Conor. A barrel of German ale if you do Eion."

"Satyr, for me, Conor Quinn." He shot a huge grin to Segan for a couple of reasons. "Sounds good to me."  And then mounted his chosen racehorse.

"And I'll give you both new flintlocks if you beat me." He'd go with Little Lady.

"Come on Diane, let's go whip some egos." Like she had won any race so far! Coming in last actually. Watch her win this one when Lazare had not shown up. His trip to Luneberg took longer unfortunately. "I'll ride Dandelion," letting the man know who knew who she was too."

"Heck, Eion. You're feeling lucky tonight, aye?"

Diane was going to race as well, and she'd take Sassy.

Cal spoke up then, "I'll join you blokes," grinning from the more stoic expression. "Which of you ladies beat me, I will escort you where you wish." If they had need of an escort, "or anything else you would prefer for a bet. I'll ride Prancer." Why not.

Conor chuckled to himself as poor Sassy had many a desiring rider. Good thing that the King's Man wasn't here. Wasn't that his favorite mount?  He nudged his horse into the gates and waited, giving him a pep talk while the others took their places.

Poor Thunder Thighs had no rider.

"We have Lizabet on Dandelion, Diane on Sassy Sally, Segan on Ole Seadog, Conor on Satyr, Eion on Little Lady Calhoun on Prancer and Gus on Grainne."

"An escort sounds good. And if I lose, I'll give you a new dagger." Knights could always use another weapon, right?

"If I lose, I'll give you a professional vet check," giving a wink as she teased Calhoun. "I'll give a lemon meringue pie to either or both of you if you beat me."

Hopefully Little Lady wasn't too little!

"You can have your choice of a dagger or necklace, Lizabet." She grinned at her. After all, both were useful!

"Please get ready," as he was watching the flag man who in turn was giving them time to make their bets, get in the saddle and be lead to a gate. "As announced from Gate One down through Five."

Dagger might do her nicely in her next race against the King's Man. After all, it was said, that it was the daggers that he seemed to be an expert at. Training...that could be the wager. "Ready?" He looked to his brothers, then gave his mount a final pat.

Gus guided Grainne into the gate and waited!

"I'm ready! Good luck to you all and Cal if you lose you win!"

Conor laughed again. It seemed Segan was right. Smart man, that Quinlan.

"Indeed I will," either way and it was all for the fun of it. "Next time get in some bets with the ladies, lads."

Ready or not, the flag was down and the Gates open as the horses shot out.  "And they're off!"

"Aye, good advice from a wise man." Conor nodded toward Calhoun and then tightened the grip on his reins. This race...   crap, they were off! He was out to beat his brothers only...

"We have Eion and Lizabet out in the lead, necking it out with Conor coming up behind, Diane, Gus then Segan."

"Hey Eion, we're necking it out, it's official," being he was that close as she sent him a sassy wink and grin.

Conor might have been right. Little Lady surprised him as she started out but then again that could change. He heard Lizabet and actually laughed out loud. "So I hear!"

Conor couldn't very well accept Eion necking with the lovely lady, but he did have a nice view, albeit, through the dust!

"Come on Ole Seadog, I'll see you get extra rations this week if you help me to beat me brothers. All I ask!" Leaning in as he was the last one. "You can do it, you're not that old!"

Gus wasn't much of a rider and seemed to be proving it!

"Lizabet is still in the lead with Gus moving up to second place, Eion, Diane, Conor, Calhoun and Segan."

Conor had made the ropes for his brothers to begin with, but he sure would like to win their wagers as well! "Come on, Satyr. Come on now!" He urged his mount on with a light slap of reins to thick, muscular shoulder.

She was laughing as she tried to coax Sassy forward. Ooo, she did it and was a bit closer now!

Whoa! How'd he get up here?!

"Lizabet is still ahead of the others, Eion, Diane, Cal and Gus nose to nose, Conor then Segan."

He was gaining on Eion, and that was all that mattered to Conor. He laughed, choking at first on his brother's dust, but keep a closed mouth grin from then on.

"Lizabet, Gus, Eion, Conor, Diane, Calhoun and Segan as they head for the finish line."

Conor shot a look behind, looking for Segan. "Beauty before age, old man!" He shouted back to his older brother...and then brothers as Satyr surged forward past Eion.

He was doing his best to keep ahead of both his brothers though it was hard to tell where anyone was but Lizabet at this point. And there went Conor!

"Lizabet takes the Win on Dandelion. Conor takes Place on Satyr and Gus takes Show on Grainne."

Satyr eased to a trot, then a slow walk as Conor circled him one more time around to cool him down. He had pressed the horse hard there at the end, and the racehorse had shown his abilities much to Conor's pleasure.  The Hometown races had become one of Conor's favorite evenings. Not because he won, but because it gave him a chance to ride hard with his brothers again. Like they used to when they were younger. Before life had caught up to them and sent two of them to far off places. He dismounted, handing the reins to one of the boys and slid his hand over Satyr's back. "Good ride, Sir...thank you for it." He ended with a pat and lowered his hand away.

"Ladies, just let me know when and where you'd like to be escorted. Though, have it not too early in the morning as I'm on the training field and not excused for such." Giving them a wink as he was sure they would work it out. "Congratulations to all and if you will excuse me, I need to get back." As he would need to be up early.

He lifted a hand in farewell to the departing knight.

He dismounted and patted Little Lady's side. She had done well. "Good night, Cal. I'll see you on the field tomorrow."

"I'll be in touch and of course a suitable time. Have a good night Calhoun." Waving to him as well.

"Good night Cal." She dismounted and waved. "Same for me" She'd think of something!

"Indeed Eion," slow grin as he was informed they would be matching off by the end of the week. A wave to all before he was swinging up into the saddle of his warhorse and on his way.

"Night Cal." H e waved then guided Grainne back to where a handler waited. "And well done, everyone!"

Wonderful.  More dirt to eat!

Patrick got all his papers together and was soon exiting the Tower to head home, or out to drink later if he was still wound up. "Good night everyone, thank you all for attending. I hope you enjoyed yourselves."

"Thanks, Patrick!" He waved, "Always enjoyed, always!"

He'd join Patrick since racing night was one when he stayed at the manor.

"Good night, Patrick, Gus. I enjoyed myself." Very much so.

"Good riding there!" He called to the departing Fraser.

"Good night to you both." He lifted a hand in farewell.

"Aye, a good night to you both. Always fun even if I can't seem to win a hometown race." Too bad Conor didn't bet money, he'd be rich.

"I don't know about you." Looking at all remaining. "But I ate enough dust to warrant a drink or two to clear my throat." Of course, Miss McKnight had kept in the lead from the get go, she may not have as much collected in her throat. He swatted at his thighs, sending up a cloud of dirt, then waved his hand before him as if that would clear it. "Aye, I need a drink." But then, Conor Quinn could always find a reason for a drink.

He waited for Gus before heading up, nice night to walk the distance.

"You all go have a good time, I need to go help my brother clean up and head home. I enjoyed myself as usual. Diane, I'll see you soon," giving all a wave before heading across the way to find her brother.

"I would be glad to join you but I need to see to the horses." She offered the men a smile. "But I'll definitely look for you another time."

"Goodnight Lady Luck!" He called after her, grinning as he turned and started on his way as well.  "Not hard to find." He turned, walking those few steps backwards to acknowledge Diane's leave taking, then turned to continue on his way.

"A drink sound like a grand idea. Good night ladies." He wouldn't let Conor drink alone.

Good brother, that!

Her smile widened into a grin before she headed off toward the stables.

"Good night ladies!" Being it seemed they were all going their own way and they to have a few drinks. Sounded good to him.



Date: 08-25-09
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 24

Falkirk Downs August Races

The gates were open although the rain had them holding back on starting the races until the tracks were cleared. Those that came early could find shelter by the food stands or the umbrellas provided under the seats. There were areas that had tarps put up, something new, where groups tended to sit more often. The rain let up enough and long enough as Patrick tapped the megaphone from the Tower. "Welcome one and all to tonight's races. We're running a little behind but they are getting the horses to the gates now. Starting from Gate One on down, we have Altair, Pretty Milkmaid, RW Blackbird, Paddy's Lad, Gypsy Prince, Shooting Star, Cottage Rose, Song of Eire, Morgan and Gold Dust. Please make yourselves comfortable as the races are about to begin. Good Luck. If you haven't made your bets there is still a few minutes time."

Gus was among those who had arrived early and had helped himself to a bit of food before finding a seat. He had an umbrella with him but since the rain had let up some, he left it down. Of course, he noticed the tarps too. He stood to watch the start of the race.

Segan came to see how their horses did this month, hoping that some of his brothers would make it here this night as well. At least there was a mutual interest as he gave a wave to Patrick in the Tower, opting to take a lean against the rail down along the track for a bit.

Watching as the flag man gave the signal and the gates opened. "Any they're off! Pretty Milkmaid surges ahead for the lead with Shooting Star and Morgan in second and third position. Pretty Milkmaid is keeping her lead with Gypsy Prince and Cottage Rose coming up behind to take second and third positions neck to neck with Song of Eire behind them."

Eion was late but he was here. Mostly it was the rain that had slowed him. He wasn't too wet because of the oilskin cape he wore but his horse wasn't happy. He came up behind Segan and clapped a hand to his shoulder. "How are we doing?"

"Pretty Milkmaid is still keeping her lead but not by a whole lot. Song of Eire not far behind, then Cottage Rose, Gypsy Prince and Morgan."

Almost had him jump, slight jerk as he was intent on watching the race. "Eion, glad you could make it." Detaching his flask of potcheen it was time to have a few drinks. Taking a swallow before it was offered his brother's way.

"Song of Eire has surged ahead to take the lead with Cottage Rose the Closest on his heels. Pretty Milkmaid falling back into third position with a couple that could still make an upset as they head for the finish line."

"Aye, wasn't sure I would." He took the flask as he watched Conor's horse. After taking a drink, he handed it back, not bothering to pull his hood back up.


"And there is an upset with Cottage Rose dashing ahead to take the Win. Song of Eire to Place and Pretty Milkmaid to Show."

"Not bad." He grinned at Segan. "Too bad Conor's not here to see it."

"For our second race, starting at Gate One, we have Solid Rock, Lil Darlin, Roxanne, Renegade Star, Fandango, Avatar, Arion, Harvest Gold, Rip Roaring and Legacy and Lace." Watching for the flag man as the flag went down, the gates up and the horses out into full gallop. "And they're Off! Roxanne is out in the lead as they head out of the gates with Renegade Star and Solid Rock neck and neck not far behind. Renegade Star now has the lead with Roxanne in second then Avatar with the others not all that far behind."

"Avatar has taken the lead with Harvest Gold to come up in second place then Renegade Star. Avatar is keeping the lead with Harvest Gold and Roxanne neck and neck in second. Solid Rock a distance behind them as they head for the finish line. Avatar crosses the line first to take the Win. Roxanne to Place and Harvest Gold to Show."

He had forgotten his paper again of course, but still yelled out for the winners.

"I think I'm going to need to ask Melantha to work with Fandango or show me how to work him. Though Conor should be happy with his horse placing."

Once outside the holds of the carriage, Vanessa offered her arm as guide to Sariyelle with a light smile. The sounds of excitement as the race finished led the pair towards the stands.

Roxanne had done well enough. He nodded at Segan. "Might be a good idea, both ways." He had been working with Seanchai some though he didn't know how well his horse would do.

Sariyelle followed along quietly, listening to the sounds of the crowd cheering for their winning horses. "Sounds like we've missed a bit." Tended to happen with distance to travel but glad they made it for some of the races.

"Would seem that way, Majesty. But plenty of time to witness races yet." Or so she hoped. Vanessa leaned close, whispering the details of the track to Sariyelle, the lay out and such things so she might have an understanding of how they appeared as the stands were neared.

Catching sight of Vanessa and Sari, he waved their way. A glance to his brother before heading up to the bleachers. "Vanessa, Sari, come join us on the bleachers." Under the tarp in case it started raining again.

Wave of her free hand to Segan with a smile. "Thank you, Segan." Carefully she lead Sariyelle towards the tarp, mindful she didn't run into anything.

The description was listened to with a nod, and the surroundings understood. She followed where Vanessa lead. "Good evening, Segan."

"For our third race we have Starting at Gate One on down, Court Jester, Beowulf, White Satin, Blue Lightning, Forest Nymph, Windchaser, Charlie's Angel, Lugh, Shaya and Leviathan." Watching the flag man as the flag soon was down and the gates up, horses surging forward, "and they're off!"

Gus stood as the two women came into the bleachers, nodding once before turning to watch the race.

"It is good to see you both, Vanessa, Sari. Have you met my brother Eion?" Waving to Gus to join them as well.

Vanessa dipped her head to Gus, greeting him with a smile. "Good eve, Sir." Turning to Sariyelle, she made sure Sariyelle was seated carefully. She smiled to Eion. "Nice to see you again, Eion."

He gave Segan a look before following with a slight shake of his head. Attention was on the horses though he turned to nod politely at the two women. "Good evening, ladies. I hope the weather didn't give you much trouble."

"Ladies." An easy smile appeared as he greeted the two.

"We have Windchaser out in front from the gates with Leviathan closest behind, Shaya, Beowulf and Forest Nymph."

Pale brown eyes shifted around but found none. "Pleasure, Eion." Turning sightless attention when his voice was heard. She seated comfortable and released Vanessa's arm, nodding to Gus. "Eve."

"Not at all. It made the journey quite comfortable temperature wise." Spoken to Eion, then looked to Gus. "Sir." And seated herself next to Sariyelle.

"Windchaser is keeping the lead with Leviathan paced behind and White Satin in third position."

"Fearghus Frasier, meet the Ladies Vanessa and Sariyelle. Ladies, Fearghus, or Gus, Frasier."

Well, he was pretty sure his brother had met them but better safe than sorry. He was distracted watching the race as the positions were called out. "Fearghus, Gus, Frasier, this is Vanessa and Sari." Near at the same time as his brother, so went in harmony!

Sariyelle laughed softly to the unison introductions. "Mr Frasier."

Vanessa's attention fell to the race before introductions were offered. Keen smile to Gus. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Frasier. I hope the evening finds you all well."

"Windchaser is keeping the lead, widening the distance ahead. In second place is Leviathan and third White Satin but others are not that far behind."

"A pleasure to meet you both." He was chuckling at the double introduction. "It finds me quite well." He always enjoyed the races.

"The positions remain the same as they head for the finish line."

"It's a lovely evening. I hope it finds everyone so well." She looked to Sariyelle curiously and smiled, hoping she enjoyed the races.

Her own smile to Gus. She was listening closely to the announcers updates on the horses coming around the bend. "It's all very exciting."

"Windchaser has taken the Win by a great margin," probably the biggest one in a race so far, "but there has been an upset for second and third. Beowulf has pulled up from behind to Place and White Satin holding her own to Show."

"Oh, and that is Patrick Frasier up in the Tower announcing the races. He's Gus' cousin," if he was correct on that. There were even more of them than Quinns.

Vanessa watched intently, this having been her first time to a horse race like this. She looked up to the tower and smiled, then back go Segan. "How are you? I've not seen you since running into you at the docks."

Windchaser was their sister's horse and Eion let out a whistle of surprise. "Well, she's doing well enough with that filly." She'd be pleased and sorry she couldn't make the race.

"For our fourth race tonight, starting at Gate One on down we have: Artemisia, Smoky Trails, Kestral, Dapper Dan, Seanchai, Golden Lady, Rag Doll, Cream and Sugar, Ash and Stone and lastly Ala al din."

"Aye, he is. One of many." He added with a grin.

Once more watching George with the flag as it went up after the horses and jockeys were in the gate stalls then down as the gates opened up, horses breaking away in into a run, "and they're off!"

Listening carefully to the horses lined up for the next race before they took off. "Seems most around Heathfield have large families." Seemed that way from what she'd heard and the few she knew.

Back to watching the horses run, she sat up with a bit of a stretch for a good look to watch them race around the track.

"Cream and Sugar is out in front with Smoky Trails and Ash and Stone neck to neck vying for second spot. Looks like Dapper Dan had trouble at the gate as well Golden Lady."

Looked like he was going to have to do more work with Seanchai!

"Patrick's brothers and sister came here from Scotland some years ago. The rest of us have slowly followed."

"Ash and Stone has taken the lead with Smoky Trails only a head behind. Artemisia then Cream and Sugar but it is still early."

"Would make such a move easier already having kin in the area."

"I think that started with the McAndrews. Ten brothers and now a second generation even larger." At least from what he picked up. Now he wondered who had the largest family when all were counted.


She leaned over to Vanessa, whispering quietly into her ear before rising from her seat. "It was a pleasure to meet you all, if you will excuse me though." Felt bad for having to leave so quickly.

Brow quirked curiously. "Are you sure, Majesty?" Rising from her seat.

"Stay and enjoy the races, Vanessa. I'll be fine." And off she went.

"Aye, it did. My father is still alive, the only one of the four brothers. I'm hoping he'll make it here some day soon. Of course. It was a pleasure." Majesty? He looked at Segan a brow lifting.

She watched as Sariyelle left. That was odd, but who knows. Perhaps she wasn't feeling well about leaving her children for too long.

"Ash and Stone is nose to nose with Artemisia for the lead. Kestral and Cream and Sugar nose to nose for second spot as they start the last half of the track. We have Artemisia out in front with Cream and Sugar nose to nose with Ash and Stone for second. Smoky Trails and Kestral nose to nose behind those two. Should be interesting to see who pulls ahead as they head for the finish line. The finals are in, Artemisia takes the Win. Smoky Trails coming up from behind to Place and Kestral as well to Show."

"Is Sari feeling all right?" Concern for the woman showed in his tone of voice as he watched her take her leave. Keeping an ear on the Race as well as to who came in."

"For our fifth race tonight, we have starting at Gate One on down: Kenchi, Justified Silver, Bayda Farasha, Maeldun, Magic Dust, Fairuzhd, Silent Thunder, Red Knight, Irish Outlaw and Peppermint." Once more George held the flag up until all were ready in the gates before it swept down, gates pulled up and the horses surging forward. "And they're off.."

He sat back but then straightened again. Thunder was running in this race. He glanced at Segan and Vanessa, curious also.

Vanessa shook her head. "I'm not sure. She seemed fine. Perhaps she felt guilty leaving her children behind for too long." Hard to say, really.

"We have Magic Dust out in front with Fairuzhd in second position and Justified Silver in third out from the gates." Which was far too early to tell.

"Long as she is well." Certainly could be a multitude of reasons. Sweeping a smile before he was taking a quick look at the horses. "Did you bet?" Wondering offhandedly.

He had fallen silent while he watched the race. Sitting on the edge of the bench, with his elbows on his knees, he watched the horses and listened.

Blonde curls shifted with a shake of her head. "No. I'm afraid I don't understand the races. This is my first time to attend one."

"Magic Dust is keeping the lead with Bayda Farasha moving up to second spot, Justified Silver in third."



Date: 08-25-09
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 25

"I have Maeldun, Silent Thunder, Red Knight and Irish Outlaw bet on for this race." So his bets were not looking too good at the moment!

"Bayda has moved into the lead with Magic Dust then Justified Silver. Peppermint is not far behind."

"Are any of them your horses?"

"Thunder did better last month." He'd be working with the horse again too it seemed.

"Outlaw is our sister's. Silver is from the stable our other sister runs."

"Bayda is still out in front with Magic Dust still in second. Irish Outlaw and Peppermint have pulled ahead of Justified as they head for the finish line."

A nod given to Eion, she smiled and watched the race.

"Bayda Farasha has taken the Win, Peppermint coming up from behind to Place and Magic Dust to Show."

He cleared his throat with a laugh, "best maybe I don't say who I bet on," tucking his sheet away into his pant's pocket. He'd been having a run of bad luck. It might do him well to look into that to see if he could shake it off.

"For our Sixth and final race of the evening before the Hometown race, we have starting at Gate One on down: Nemain, Golden Dawn, Amber Dancer, Snake Bite, Royal Pride, Lace Stockings, Lavender, Nutmeg, Dusky Princess and Joker's Wild." Which they were already situated at the Gates as the flag went down. "And they're off! Nutmeg surges to the lead with Snake Bite on her heels. Lace Stockings not all that far behind as well Dusky Princess."

"Nutmeg is still out in the lead but nose to nose with Snake Bite. Golden Dawn has moved up from the others behind the two. Nutmeg is keeping the lead with Snake Bite falling behind. Lace Stockings has moved into second spot and Royal Pride into third but directly behind him is Lavender , Golden Dawn and Joker's Wild a pace ahead of Snake Bite. This is getting to be a very close race."

Close enough that he was leaning forward a bit more to watch.

Vanessa was slowly raising from her seat while watching the end of the race.

"Nutmeg is still keeping the lead with Joker's Wild to move up from behind to second spot. Snake Bite as well moving back up into third position as they head for the finish line. There has been an upset folks! Joker's Wild has pulled it off at the last moment, surging ahead to take the Win in this final Registered Race of tonight. Nutmeg to Place and Snake Bite to Show."

At least one of his came in. So he peeked at his list!

"Those of you that would like to enter the Hometown race, let George know. There are horses available: Thunder Thighs, Prancer, Little Lady, Satyr, Sassy Sally, Dandelion, Ole Seadog and Grainne."

Vanessa clapped for the winners of the race and smiled. "How fantastic. What a fun sport." To her it was a sport.

He had one come in as well, and was happy enough with that. He looked at Segan and grinned. "Well?"

"Com'on Vanessa, come race in the Hometown Races." He was up, "I'll take Ole Seadog to ride."

"I'll take Satyr." He headed down to George.

With only a few this night for the rains, he handed over the Megaphone to Tomas, one of older guards that had come this night. "Gus, think you can beat me in a race?" Heading down the bleacher steps towards his cousin and the others. "Good evening Miss, Segan, Eion." Wide smile brought a dimple to his cheek. "I'm pleased you could make it, not discouraged by the rains."

She smiled to Segan. Not dressed to ride, but why not. "I'll take Prancer." Sounded like a good name to her. Her head dipped to Patrick. "Evening, Sir."

Gus didn't say anything but he headed down toward George and grinned at Patrick. "Only one way to find out. Dandelion for me."

"I'll ride Little Lady then."

"Evening, Patrick. Wouldn't miss it."

Tomas was trying out his voice over the Megaphone. "Now why didn't one of you lads take Thunder Thighs to ride?" Lowering it to chuckle before announcing the line up from the runner George sent up. "We have Segan at Gate One on Ole Seadog, Eion at Gate Two on Satyr, Vanessa at Gate Three on Prancer, Gus at Gate Four on Dandelion and last but not least, Patrick at Gate Five on Little Lady."

"If I lose, I will next month!" He yelled up at Tomas as he mounted Satyr.

Vanessa mounted Prancer with a pat to the neck and glance of golden eyes between all the gents.

"That's a good bet, whoever loses and is here next race, rides Thunder Thighs." Knowing well the announcer has a field day with that!

Once George noted they had their personal bets in or there lack of as some nights, still up to the individuals for there were prices and coins to win too. Flag was up then down as the gates lifted and the horses free to go with their riders.
"We have the little lady out in front with our very own Patrick close behind. Gus, Eion then Segan."

He lost last time too and he was not having a good start nor a good night in all of this! "Come on you old seadog, show them you're good on land too!" Trying to urge the horse forward. Wasn't it the same one last time?

It might have been! He couldn't remember who he had ridden before but he was laughing as he urged Satyr on.

Prancer was urged to continue, laughing along the way.

"Vanessa is still ahead of the lads. Patrick holding second, Eion, Segan then Gus."

Oh no! He didn't ride every time but he was laughing as he tried to get Dandelion to move!

"Come on Seadog, you passed Gus, pass Eion at least!" It meant more to him to beat his brother for a change than win the race necessarily!

"Vanessa is getting a greater distance from the men. Patrick still in second with Eion then Gus and Segan battling it out for last."

"Come on, Prancer!" She was more enjoying the run than the race.

"Come on, Dandelion! Just stay ahead of one horse!" Laughing as he yelled out.

Next time he was going to bring another horse with him to ride! "Last time I race with you Seadog if you don't show your stuff," maybe threats would work!

Patrick was laughing, listening to the brothers more than anything. "Gus, you're not going to beat me if you don't hurry up!"

"Positions remain the same as they head for the finish line!" Never knew, one could bolt ahead.

"Not last, please not last!" Except he was laughing as he tried to get Seadog to move faster.

"I'm trying!" He was laughing too and not just at himself.

"You can make it, Prancer." She glanced back to those racing as well, watching them all enjoying themselves.

"We have it folks, the lovely lady Vanessa has taken the Win riding Prancer. Patrick to Place riding Little Lady and Gus has moved ahead to Show, riding Dandelion. Congratulations to the winners. Vanessa will receive a fine cuckoo clock made by the Traugott brothers. One bouquet of flowers certificate from Lisette Floral, 2 bottles of champagne from McCullen Vineyards and one Irish wool cap from McCormick Wool Mill as well 500 coins. Patrick will get a nice writing desk from MacGrath furniture, one bouquet of flowers certificate from Lisette Floral and 2 bottles of champagne from McCullen Vineyards along with 300 coins. Gus will receive a Celtic Necklace from Velvet Jewelry, 1 bouquet certificate for flowers from Lisette Floral, 2 bottles of champagne from McCullen Vineyards. Segan gets to ride Thunder Thighs next race." And if they looked up to the tower, they'd see Tomas grinning.


He allowed Satyr to walk a bit while he applauded the winners and gave Segan a big grin. Thunder Thighs wasn't really a bad horse. Just had an unfortunate name.

Hearing the announcement, Prancer was drawn to a halt and patted on the neck for the efforts. Dismounting, she held the reins as she listened and offered Prancer a sugar cube from a hidden pocket of her skirt. She hadn't expected to win, thus her smile was a bit shy. "Well done, Prancer."

He was trying to grumble under his breath but ended up laughing. "Wait and see, Conor better be here. I'll ride Thunder Thighs and beat you all. I'll have this dark cloud hanging over me gone by then."

Gus chuckled as he glanced at the brothers. He knew what he'd do with the necklace and flowers, and maybe the champagne too.

He walked Ole Seadog, "Hear that, wont be you I'm riding next race." He was down to give the stallion an apple nonetheless that was offered by one of the stable boys to do so.

"Aye, he better be. Maybe we'll get Herself to come watch." He dismounted and patted Satyr on the neck while giving him the apple the boys seemed to be giving.

Patrick dismounted as the stable lad led the horse off to rub down and give some extra grains to. He was over to where Vanessa stood with the horse. "You ride very well Lady Vanessa. I'm pleased you could join in the fun tonight. I'm Patrick Frasier." Figuring she would probably not know his name. "You have met all the others I presume?"

"Congratulations, Lady Vanessa." Called out before he turned Dandelion over to the stable boy.

"Congratulations Vanessa, I'm actually pleased you won." Which he was and showed by the dimpled smile.


She laughed softly as she listened to the brothers and set to lead Prancer to the stables. Pause in her step to Patrick's approach. "Thank you, Mr. Frasier. It was good fun. And yes, I have. Vanessa Baltimore." Though he knew her first name, seemed rude not to return the introduction. She smiled to Gus and Segan. "Thank you both."

"Miss Baltimore. Though if you'd like we can dispense with formalities. They are rarely used though respect is. A pleasure to meet you. You are in good company with the Quinn brothers and my cousin."

"Vanessa's fine." Habit to use formalities. "It would seem I am in good company with all of you. Always nice to meet new people."

"Where can your gifts be delivered, Vanessa?" He would make sure they reached her. Patrick tended to be a bit too serious as shown in dark green eyes, although he was making the effort to socialize again.

"Congratulations, Vanessa." He added his voice after releasing Satyr to the stable boy.

Prancer set to the care of a stable hand. "The castle of Eldyn, if it's not too much trouble." A smile to Eion. "Thank you." She looked to Patrick. "Congratulations to you as well. And Gus."

"Not any trouble at all. I may come to meet those of your lands some evening." He was hearing some of these lands others in the lands were friends with. "Aye, congratulations to you Gus. Spend your coins wisely." Teasing as he would before George was over to have his ear on a few things. More like some questions of something that had Patrick responding before the man was off getting the other men set on what to do.

"That would be delightful." Spoken to Patrick. There was much happening in Eldyn. Buzz of new life and other possibilities.

"I intend to." He grinned then glanced at the sky. Things had slowed at bit at the shop so he'd be staying at Falkirk tonight but he was wondering if it would still be raining tomorrow.

"If you will excuse me. I need to find Donovan McKnight. I hope you all have a very pleasant rest of the evening. Gus, I will see you a little later up at the Manor?" If he was out this way most likely he would stay overnight to see all the others at breaking fast.

"It was a pleasure to meet you, Patrick." A light smile given to him in parting, she too looked skyward, hoping Sariyelle was alright.

He listened on as the others talked but his mind was elsewhere. Mostly how to shake his run of little to no luck. That would not do if he was to take on a dangerous cargo run.

Sweeping smile with a step back in a slight bow before he was around on a boot sole and heading for the stables where the racing horses were kept and all being gone over. A vet check before and after.

"All right, Patrick." He saluted his cousin then offered a smile to the other. "Vanessa, it was good to meet you. Segan, Eion, always good to see you." If he left now he might find Neale still up.

"Congratulations Gus, maybe catch you next time here too."

She smiled to Gus. "A pleasure to meet you. Have a nice evening. Perhaps I will see you again."

"Good night, Gus." He was planning to stop at his shop soon and have a look at some of his bows.

He could go with Eion for he'd like a new one too. Go wabbit hunting with!

They could grab Conor then too!

She smiled to Segan and Eion. "It was wonderful to see you both again, but I worry for the Queen. I should return to see if she is fairing well."

"I'm sure we will." He headed to where his own horse was waiting.

"We can ride with you part of the way, unless you have a guard with you?" He well understood her concern.

She glanced in direction of where the carriage had been. Taken by Sariyelle, but a guard and a horse left for her. Smiling to Segan, she shook her head. "No need to go out of the way. Seems she's left a guard to ride with."

"Safe travels then. I can hope our paths cross again sometime."

"I'm sure they will." A nod to him, then to Eion. "Good eve, Eion. You both have a pleasant night." And off she went.

"Shall we head back to the manor?" He usually managed to have the next day off after the races. Didn't have to try to get home quickly.

"I think that would be a good idea, Grandmama will be wanting to hear how our horses did."


Date: 09-29-09
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 26

September Races

Patrick was up in the Tower going over the list of races this evening. Dry but cooler day and the tracks were ready, they should be starting on time for a change. Though delays were never that long and usual for tracks as one could not predict the weather nor unforeseen events that slowed things down. The megaphone was tapped as he cleared his throat, it sounded over the whole of the tracks which had him chuckle which then also carried. The gates had been open and those that usually came had most seated on the bleachers. He recognized Adrian so far which was good to see his cousin out and about.

He was there giving Patrick a wave as he stood down by the rails. Heavier dark brown tunic worn over a shirt of tan. Pants and boots of black. He was waiting to see who else showed up of his siblings or cousins.

Adrian wouldn't have long to wait. Gus and David were both making their way through the gate. Gus spotted Adrian and nudged David before heading that way. "Good to see you out, Captain Frasier." He teased as he joined Adrian at the fence. A wave was also given to Patrick up in the tower.

"Welcome this night to Falkirk Downs. The races will be starting in a couple of minutes for those who wish to get in any last minute bets. The food stands are open and the lineup of the first race is as follows. Starting at Gate One on down, Court Jester, Justified Silver, Lavender, Golden Dawn, Smoky Trails, Silent Thunder, Solid Rock, Avatar, Golden Lady and Fairuzhd."

David was laughing as he and Gus entered. He waved at Patrick then as they joined Adrian, he sniffed the air. "I think I'm going to head over there and get something to eat. If you're going into the stands, I'll join you shortly." He sometimes forgot about eating when he was engrossed in a case.

Segan rode in straight through the gates at a gallop, halting the stallion known as Big Red and dismounting barely before he was completely still. Luckily he didn't almost run anyone down but had that almost late feel about him. He heard the tail end of the announcement and was quick to notice they hadn't started yet. Catching up with David and Gus as they headed for the food stand. "I think I could use a bite to eat and something to drink." Figuring that was exactly what they were up to.

Vanessa was arriving in time for the first race! Happy with herself for that. Tennison strode through the gates at a casual trot, following the path made by others who'd arrived before them. He was slowed to a casual walk while Vanessa took in the sights of all around, having only been there once before.

Adrian called out to David and Gus, "bring me back something while I go get a section of seats." Ones where there were some cushions.

He noticed Vanessa arriving with a wave of a hand, "want something from the stands?"

She returned the wave to Segan. "Something to drink if you would please." Called back to him as she slid down from the sidesaddle.

"Evening Segan. It smells too good to pass up." He grinned and since they had small baskets with a selection, that's what he ordered. Three and everyone would help themselves if they wanted.

There were hot sandwiches packed into those baskets along with containers of cider. He had some potcheen with him too that would come in handy for warmth. Once he paid the vendor he was around, waiting for the Gus and David before heading to the bleachers where Adrian had picked out a section for them. He motioned to Vanessa where they would be sitting.

One more look around before catching the gesture from Segan, she smiled and set to follow to where everyone seemed to be gathering. "Nice to see you again."

He was watching Tod, the flagman of this evening as the jockeys got the horses ready in the stalls. The flag then going down as the gates went up. "And they're off! We have Solid Rock and Avatar fast out of the gates in this first race, neck to neck with Golden Dawn and Golden Lady nose to nose for second spot."

The cousins joined Segan quickly so as to not make anyone wait, either for food or the start of the race.

Graham had silently wandered up with his dog trailing behind him. He took a drag from his hand-rolled cigarillo before tossing it over his shoulder. He gave a little nod of his head to his brother and cousins before moving over to Gus.

"Good evening," greeting Vanessa as well Segan when both approached. There was plenty of room for the lot of them and more enjoyable with company, "have a seat."

They were up near as soon as Vanessa. "Anything you want," setting the box on the bleacher seat in front of him in easy access of those there as well Gus and David had stuff too. "Help yourselves." Settling to sit as the first race began.

"Good eve." A smile given to Adrian as he greeted her, taking a brief moment to recall if she'd met him. She didn't think she had. "I'm Vanessa Baltimore." Hoping for an introduction as she peeked into the box for her cider.

"Everyone enjoy. Evening, Graham. Meet Segan, Adrian and David who are cousins and Vanessa." He wasn't sure who Ham had met.

"We have Avatar pulling ahead to take the lead, Silent Thunder moving up into second spot with Golden Dawn not far behind."

He stood with a quick glance to the races then upon Vanessa dark eyes turned. Smile was sincere tucked in a somewhat scruffy beard. He had started growing it for the upcoming cold weather. "A pleasure to meet you Vanessa. I am Adrian Frasier, one of the many Frasiers of Falkirk and Port Master of Barrett's Bay in Heathfield."

Ham tipped his head down as he was introduced around to those who gathered. With his eyes twinkling, he began to tease the young lady, "Maybe I should be out more often enjoying the sights and such." He turned back to the races.

"Have you met the meat master, my cousin Graham, Ham Frasier?" Greeting Ham in that manner as he gestured to the boxes of food and drink to partake of.

A wave of fingers to Gus and a smile as introductions were made, she looked between Adrian and Gus. "Nice to meet you." Spoken to Adrian before casting a grin to Graham. "Well, I have met you all now, so I suppose that is all that matters in the end."

"Avatar is keeping the lead and making distance from the others. Silent Thunder is heading the rest in second spot with Golden Dawn and Smoky Trails behind."

He snickers as his fingers wave away at the box.

"There are more of us to meet in time." Appreciating the moment in study of a pretty face before focus turned back on the race. "Come on Silent Thunder," which was Ham's horse.

Actually it was Gus' horse and he was watching the race closely now. Excuse him please.

He passed her a mug of cider before taking up one of the sandwiches, roast beef and cheese, to devour.

"I'm sure there are and I look forward to it." She eased down onto a seat, taking the mug from Segan. "Thank you." And turned her attention to the race.

"Avatar still has the lead but not by as much with Silent Thunder catching up and could pass him out. Golden Dawn is still keeping third place with Smoky Trails and Justified Silver close as they head for the finish line."

"Damn," He mutters as he sucks in his breath sharply. He takes up a lean with his shoulders squaring against the next row of seats.

"It was a close call at the finish line for Show but the decision is in by the judges," which were three males that made the call at the finish line. "Avatar takes the Win by a good distance with Silent Thunder to Place and Justified Silver to Show."

"Melantha will be happy," as Justified squeezed in at the last moment to show.

He let out a whoop for Thunder. Quite happy with the results.

The tracks were cleared of any debris as the next lineup of jockeys and horses got into place. "For our second race we have starting at Gate One on down, Magic Dust, Amber Dancer, Lace Stockings, Ash and Stone, Dusky Princess, Leviathan, Rag Doll, Blue Lightning, Irish Outlaw and Pretty Milkmaid." He was watching the flagman who was waiting for him to finish the announcement before the flag was down and gates up, "and they're off! Dusky Princes takes the lead out of the gates with Magic Dust, Leviathan and Lace Stockings close behind."

Vanessa was watching with mostly quiet intrigue while Patrick announced the leads of the race.

"Irish Outlaw is now in the lead passing Dusky and a few others. Pretty Milkmaid as well coming up from behind to take second spot right behind Outlaw, Rag Doll and Dusky Princess close behind."

"Ash and Stone needs to come on!"

"Irish Outlaw is keeping the lead with Pretty Milkmaid in second. Leviathan, Magic Dust and Dusky Princess not far behind. Irish is still in the lead with Ash and Stone coming up to second spot. Leviathan and Pretty Milkmaid close behind as they head for the finish line. This has been a very close race for second and third. Irish Outlaw has taken the Win but Blue Lightning has come up from behind to Place and Dusky Princess to Show."

He let out a whistle and applauded for the horses and riders. It had been a great race.

"Brogan will be happy," Blue Lightning was a hit and miss kind of racing horse and getting up in his years for racing.

"For our Third race this Autumn evening, we have starting at Gate One on down: Song of Eire, Bayda Farasha, Paddy's Lad," which had him grin before continuing, "Ala al Din, Rip Roaring, Artemisia, Shooting Star, Roxanne, Red Knight and Lil Darlin." Tod was already waiting as the flag went down, "and they're off!"

"Aye, he should be." He grinned as he leaned forward, elbows resting on his knees to watch the next race.

Dusky Princess...she thought she bet on that horse. Mug set down, she clapped a bit late for the previous race apparently.

"Shooting Star has taken the lead with a group close behind consisting of Artemisia, Song of Eire, Red Knight and Lil Darlin."

David just grinned at his cousins, though he patted Ham on the back in consolation. From what he could tell, it was all in the mood of the horses that raced.

Ham just grumbled as David patted him on the back.

"The group has broke up with Song of Eire breaking through to take the lead. Roxanne and Red Knight nose to nose for second spot and Shooting Star close behind. This is a lot closer race thus far as Roxanne takes the lead with Red Knight in second spot and Song of Eire dropping back to third. Roxanne is keeping a solid lead with Red Knight in second, Lil Darlin and Ala al Din nose to nose in third," this race being like musical chairs. "This will be a close race as they head for the finish line."

"And the results are in, Roxanne has taken the Win with Red Knight to Place and Lil Darlin to Show." Paddy's Lad had almost taken Show which had been a surprise to Patrick. "For our Fourth race, starting at Gate One on down we have: Nutmeg, Joker's Wild, Altair, Maeldun, Legacy and Lace, Royal Pride, Fandango, Forest Nymph, Snake Bite and Gold Dust."

Which he stood up to push his fist skyward when Fandango was announced then back down on the edge of his seat.

Which had him chuckle as his horse would be in competition with Segan's, though he said nothing on it, dark eyes trained on this race even more.

Tod waited a moment as one gate was checked before the flag went down and the gates opened up, "and they're off! Altair takes the lead out of the gates with Forest Nymph, Maeldun and Legacy and Lace close behind." It was early as so much could change by the time the finish line was reached. "Maeldun has pulled out into the lead with Nutmeg in second spot, Fandango in third with Altair close behind. Maeldun is keeping the lead with Nutmeg in second as well. Altair has moved up to third with Fandango very close behind. We could see an upset here!"

Vanessa watched intently, scooting to the edge of her seat with a tight grasp on her mug, looking between all the horses.

"Nutmeg has taken the lead with Altair and Fandango nose to nose, Maeldun dropping back but still has a chance as they head for the finish line."

He was up near holding his breath as Fandango had a chance to at least place in this race.

These races could get very exciting. He was yelling though he didn't remember which horses he had bet on.

Date: 09-29-09
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 27

"The results are in, Nutmeg has taken the Win. Altair to Place and Fandango to Show."

Vanessa had forgotten as well, so she was going to cheer for all the horses!

He jumped in place as he let out a HOOT, with Fandango at least placing in this race.

"For our Fifth race we have starting at Gate One on down: Windchaser, Charlie's Angel, Lugh, Seanchai, Harvest Gold, RW Blackbird, Shaya, Gypsy Prince, Kestral and White Satin," all the while watching for Tod to bring down the flag which he did just as he finished, "and they're off! Charlie's Angel takes the lead out of the gates with Kestral, Gypsy Prince and Windchaser close behind. Charlie's Angel is keeping the lead with Harvest Gold to pull up into second spot, Gypsy Prince in third with others close behind." Charlie's Angel with White Satin moving up to second spot. Harvest Gold and Seanchai nose to nose."

"Charlie's Angel is keeping her lead with White Stain keeping second. Gypsy Prince moving up into third position with the others still close behind as they head for the finish line. We do have an upset this race with White Satin surging past Charlie's Angel to take the Win. Gypsy Prince as well surged passed Charlie's Angel to Place and the Angel to Show. For our last Registered Race tonight we have starting at Gate One on down: Nemain, Kenchi, Renegade Star, Cream & Sugar, Peppermint, Arion, Dapper Dan, Cottage Rose, Beowulf and Morgan."

"Amazing." He took a drink from the flask he carried and offered to anyone who needed a drink of the pure.

Ham tosses up his hands in a grumpy mood before rising from his seat to exit the track silently.

"There have been a few surprises this night." Except for one or two races where one was out ahead with a dramatic lead.

"It is certainly exciting." She smiled and drank from her mug.

The flag was down once the horses and jockeys were all settled. "And they're off! Peppermint has taken the lead with Beowulf close behind. Cream and Sugar, Arion and Dapper Dan shoulder to shoulder. Cream and Sugar has pulled ahead with Peppermint and Beowulf nose to nose in second spot. Renegade Star has pulled up from behind with Arion and Dapper Dan not far behind."

"Go Beowulf!" Pretty sure she'd bet on that one.

"Cream and Sugar is keeping her lead as Arion has pulled into second spot. Renegade Star, Peppermint and Dapper Dan right behind. Renegade Star has pulled into the lead with Cream and Sugar in second spot. Arion then Beowulf with others still close behind. There could easily be an upset in this race as they head for the finish line. Renegade Star has take the Win with Cream and Sugar to Place and the upset of Peppermint coming up from behind to Show."

She clapped for the winners after setting her mug down near by. "Excellent races!"

He was up to clap for the winners and the races as a whole. A thumb's up to Patrick as he started down to gather up Big Red for the Hometown race. "You all are going to race?"

"Well done." He applauded then gave Segan a nod. "Aye, I am."

Anyone wishing to join in the Hometown race, be sure to let Tod know. I will be taking a short break while you get ready."

"Excellent race," called out and then he looked thoughtful. "I think I'll give it a try."

"I'm going to watch this one."

He was up into a stretch to loosen muscles after sitting for so long. "I'll race and bet you 50 coins I'll beat you David and Gus." So there would be a bit of betting on the side.

"I'll take you on with that bet too if that's all right?" Looking between the Frasiers. Turning a grin on Vanessa, "and here I was going to bet taking you on the Dragon Run once winter is upon us."

"You're on." He agreed with a grin then nodded at Segan. Why not?

"Aye, I'm in as well." He chuckled as he looked at Vanessa. "Not going to show us up?"

Brow quirked to Segan with a smile, she set her mug aside with an exaggerated sigh. "Oh very well, Segan. You've talked me into it." Then smiled to David. "I just might."

"Works for me." Which had the glint in dark eyes turn upon Vanessa, would she take the bait. "Perhaps a bet worth winning?"

"Perhaps. Maybe by then I will devise a way to add heating pads to my attire for the winter."

"I'll ride Prancer." Which was one of those that could be chosen.

"And if I should win?" Leaving her to add something as he headed down with the rest of them. He eyed Big Red as he realized he was suppose to ride Thunder Thighs the next race after losing the last one and this was it though Eion wasn't here.

"I'm going to go get Tennison. The run will do him well." With a smile, she spun enough to put her in direction to get her horse and paused to look at Segan. "If you win?....then you can teach me how to ice skate."

"Or you show me how you train a hawk?" If he won, it should be something he gained in that way.

"Sure. We'll even let one chose you and you can train it yourself."

"I'll ride Sassy Sally." After a moment. He chuckled as he listened to Segan and Vanessa before making his way to the horses.

"I guess I'll take Ole Seadog." See if he had any better luck than Segan.

She went off to get Tennison and met everyone else where the race would begin.

"I will fulfill my obligation and ride Thunder Thighs, Eion will just have to suffice with hearing about it." Being the mare was saddled up he was up into the saddle, giving his name and horse ridden.

Tennison was walked over to the start before she climbed up on the side saddle and gathered the reins. "You're such a good sport, Segan." She flashed a smile to him.

"We have in Gate Number One, David on Ole Seadog, Gate Two, Adrian on Prancer, Gate Three, Segan on Thunder Thighs," and they might hear snickering across the bleachers, "Gate Four, Vanessa on Tennison and Gate Five, Gus on Sassy Sally. Please get ready."

He was in the saddle of Prancer though it had been a while, it was something he should start getting use to with being ashore more with his job.

He mounted the horse and guided him into Gate One, patting his neck. "Just do your best, laddie."

Vanessa readied, patting Tennison on the neck and prepared to run.

He mumbled, "at least the snickering is less Eion's." Then grinning as he got ready in the gate assigned him.

Gus was in position and ready to go.

Tod gave a nod then the flag was down. "And they're off!" The gates opening up to let them all out. "AND THERE GOES THUNDER THIGHS LIKE HER NAMESAKE!" Yelled as the whole area cheered while laughing and luckily drowning out any other comments.

Segan would never live this down when his brother heard.

"Prancer just behind then Vanessa on Tennison, David on Ole Seadog and Gus on Sassy Sally."

"Extra carrots of you Ten if you get in gear.." She snickered quietly and enjoyed the run.

Segan was barely hanging on compared to the slow horses he rode before. Like Ole Seadog!

Gus was laughing as he tried to coax Sally into moving a little faster. He was behind Ole Seadog!

"TT is keeping the lead and watch her go! Vanessa and David neck to neck with Adrian close behind and Gus eating dust. This race is going to get interesting as Adrian pulls ahead of Thundering thighs beneath Segan." Yes, he had to make such comments for it was expected as the crowd hooted and hollered. "Gus has pulled ahead to third leaving David then Vanessa as she dropped just a spot behind, maybe the necking was too much?"

"Sugar and carrots!" spoken with a laugh to Tennison, loosening up on the reins to let him have his run.

He was laughing too hard to hear Patrick right. Or so he thought.

"Adrian is keeping the lead with Segan close behind. Vanessa has passed out Gus and David for third spot as they head for the finish line. It is anyone's race! The results are in, Adrian takes the Win on Prancer. Segan on Thunder Thighs to Place and Gus on Sassy Sally to Show. Congratulations all! There will be a consolation prize of 100 coins each for Vanessa and David for joining in the race."

Tennison was slowed to a walk, she dropped the reins over his neck and clapped. "Congratulations to the winners."

David was chuckling as he slowed the horse down. "You tried, lad, you tried." Poor old fellow.

So he owned Adrian 50 coins but would be getting 100! That wasn't too bad. He walked TT until she cooled down, "much as everyone is fearful to ride yea lass, you do yourself proud." Of course it was only the name and the jokes that followed.

He and David would both be 100 coins poorer but it was worth it.

No, David would be 150 coins poorer.And yes, it was worth it.

He was down from the mare who was led off as he was over to offer a hand to Vanessa in helping her down if she wished to stretch her legs. "It was a good race." Mostly had been fun. "I'll still take you on a sled ride once winter is here and the run is built."

"Good race, gentlemen." She looked to Segan with a grin. "Whenever you wish, you're welcome to come to the Gardens for that hawk and training." She took the offered hand and nodded. "Sounds delightful. I look forward to it."

He dismounted and turned the horse over to the stable boy. "Gentlemen, you'll have the money in hand tomorrow." He didn't carry that much with him. "Adrian, Gus, are you heading for Falkirk?" Patrick would be of course.

He made sure she had her footing in helping he down then released as he stepped back. "Aye, I will be soon as a good opportunity allows," knowing too she was still settling in. He would be around soon enough.

A nod was given. "Alright. I'm easy to find. I spend most of my day time hours in the gardens." And during the day the gates were open to welcome those interested.

"I want to thank everyone attending this evening. I hope all made a few coins as well as having fun doing so. Until next month, stay warm and see you again!"

He was around to applaud Patrick ending with a wave. "Shall we head for the Thistle?" Wondering if his brother was there by now or would be to share a few drinks.

"I may come but later. I've a few things to see to and if I have time I will show. Have a drink on me. I enjoyed the race with you all." Tipping off a grin before he was heading up to talk with Patrick before leaving for the night back to Heathfield.

She waved up to Patrick then looked back to Segan. "I was going to head that way." She waved to Adrian. "Nice meeting you."

"Aye, I'm heading to Falkirk." He usually did race nights. "Good night to you all. It was an enjoyable evening."

"Nice meeting you too, Vanessa," turning that smile over a shoulder as dark eyes met a moment then back as he continued upward.

"Good night everyone." He'd join Gus in waiting for Patrick and heading off to Falkirk.

He would see what was on Adrian's mind then pack up and head up to Falkirk. Long night and usually tired him out that he didn't go out afterwards.



Date: 10-27-09
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 28

October Races

Patrick was in the Tower with an eye on the time as he shuffled through the various sheets of races and jotting down any last minute notes. A tap on the megaphone as he cleared his throat, his voice carrying over the grounds as various patrons were back, some in seats along the bleachers, some making last minute bets and others getting some food offered at reasonable prices at the stands before finding their seats. "Welcome tonight for the October Registered races as well the Hometown race at the end. Please make yourselves comfortable and a reminder that beneath the seats are umbrellas for those not under the tarp. There are also blankets and woolen pads as the months grow colder. Hot cocoa and cider are offered free from this month on."

Brogan stepped into the tower room where his cousin had just made the announcement. "If you need me Patrick, I'll be just down there in the stands. I've brought you up a mug of hot cider and something to eat." Knowing well his cousin probably hadn't taken the time to do so. He was over to set the tray on a table near the announcement area. Giving an upnod, he was out without needing any response knowing he was busy. He was down to take up a seat under the area with the tarp.

Gus picked a seat in the stands under the tarp.  He was dressed warmly tonight since he wasn't feeling his best.  Brogan received a quiet greeting when he came from  the tower.  And while the bowyer would greet anyone who showed he probably would be pretty quiet tonight.

Segan galloped in just as Patrick was making the announcements. Reining in Big Red, still needing a new name, as he was down before the horse had completely stilled. Dust actually lifted up from where his boots hit solid earth. No rain nor snow of late to dampen it down. He didn't see any of his brothers but he noticed Brogan and Gus up in the stands so headed there to join his friends.

Joseph headed for the stands but chose a place up near the Tower as he would watch from there. He had just recently returned and needed to go over a few reports and decided to do so while watching the races. A wave was given the others.

Patrick gave Brogan the thumbs up as he started the next announcement. He would be taking a break in between the races and eat then, if he had to get the food himself he probably would not have. "Starting at Gate One on down we have Joker's Wild, Paddy's Lad, Nutmeg, Roxanne, Red Knight, Dapper Dan, Irish Outlaw, Golden Lady, RW Blackbird and Artemisia." Barely announced when the flagman, George, brought the flag down, the gates opened and the horses bolting, "and they're off! Golden Lady is fast out of the gate into the lead with RW Blackbird close on her tail while Dapper Dan and Irish Outlaw are neck to neck for third this start of the race. Paddy's Lad has come up from behind to take the lead with Irish Outlaw close behind, Golden Lady dropping behind to go neck to neck with RW Blackbird and Dapper Dan."

"Irish Outlaw has pulled into the lead with Paddy's Lad in second spot and RW Blackbird in third, a few others cannot be ruled out in this close race. Nutmeg is one of those as she pulls up from behind to take the lead, leaving Irish Outlaw in second and Dapper Dan in third, Paddy's lad and RW Blackbird very close behind leaving this still anyone's win as they head for the finish line. "And we have the finals in this close race with Nutmeg taking the Win, Irish Outlaw to Place and Dapper Dan to Show."

He had gotten at least one out of the three so wasn't complaining as he checked off his ticket with his bets.

"For our second race we have starting at Gate One on Down, Kestral, Forest Nymph, Snake Bite, Kenchi, Avatar, Charlie's Angel, Lugh, Seanchai, Altair and Bayda Farasha." He was keeping an eye on George as the flag went down then the rushing sounds of the gates going up and the horses lunging free onto the racetrack," and they're off! We have Avatar having a slow start at the gate while Charlie's Angel surges ahead. Lugh and Snake Bite not far behind. The lead stays the same but at least Avatar is no longer stuck at the gate."

"Lugh surges ahead of Charlie's Angel who drops down into third place while Snake Bite moves up to second. This race seems to be consistent as Lugh leads with Charlie's Angel moving back into second place and Snake Bite into third as they head for the finish line. It was a close call for third position as Altair pulled up from behind almost overtaking Snake Bite but he held in to take Show. Charlie's Angel to Place and Lugh to Win."

Brogan glance over towards Joe, watching him a moment being out with his work. It didn't surprise him much before he was back watching the races. He purposely left his ticket behind to leave it as a surprise tonight.

At least one of his came in so all was well so far. Grinning that Snake Bite managed not to lose his position.

"For our third race tonight we have starting at Gate One on down, Harvest Gold, Fandango, Windchaser, Solid Rock, Nemain, Peppermint, Beowulf, Smoky Trails, White Satin and Ala al Din." George was on the ball as the flag went down and.. "they're off!"

He was up from his seat with a fisted hand shot skyward. "C'MON Fandango!"

Patrick saw that as laughter laced his words in the update, "Nemain takes the lead out of the gates with Fandango close behind, Solid Rock and Smoky Trails nose to nose. Smoky Trails has shot ahead to take the lead with Nemain in second spot and Ala al Din coming up from behind to take third spot. Fandango and Solid Rock not far behind. Nemain has now moved to first position, Smoky Trails to second and Ala al Din in third. Seems this race has them exchanges places and a few behind Ala could easily overtake."

"Ala al Din has moved up to first position with Smoky Trails near nose to nose. Fandango has moved back up into third as they head for the finish line. It was a close race as the final results are in, Ala al Din takes the Win, Smoky Trails to Place and Nemain to Show." Who managed to surge ahead of Fandango at the last minute.

Almost.. almost! Fandango was doing well even if he missed placing by a hair.

Better late than never. Sibling kind of squabble with Aiden, he all but pushed her out of the cottage so she'd enjoy the evening at the races. Once Tennison was settled, she made her way to the stands.

"For our fourth Race tonight we have starting at Gate One on down: Ash and Stone, Maeldun, Renegade Star, Amber Dancer, Golden Dawn, Fairuzhd, Lace Stockings, Blue Lighting, Dusky Princess and Cream and Sugar." All the while watching George as the red flag went down, gates pulled up and horses out onto the tracks, "and they're off!" It seemed a crazy sort of start with a few ahead and most behind compared to the earlier races. "We have Fairuzhd to take the lead out of the gates with Golden Dawn then Maeldun and Cream and Sugar nose to nose."

He flagged Vanessa over to were he sat near Brogan and Gus. Flash of a smile before keeping an eye on the race too.

Wave back to Segan, she picked up the pace, buttoning up the collar of her long riding coat along the way. "Ave, everyone." Looking out to the race, listening for the update.

"Fairuzhd is keeping the lead with Maeldun moving up into second position. Golden Dawn in third with a few others close behind. Maeldun has taken the lead with Fairuzhd dropping down to second position. Cream and Sugar coming up to third with Renegade Star close behind. Maeldun is keeping the lead with Cream and Sugar moving to second, Renegade Star and Fairuzhd nose to nose for third as they head for the finish line."

He stood as she reached them then sat after she took her seat. "Good evening to you as well," slow smile as he watched her a moment. "I'm doing alright with the betting." Hopefully better than breaking even.

"Maeldun has taken the Win with Fairuzhd to Place and Amber Dancer to Show having come up from behind to pass the other two." So there was an upset for third place.

A smile up to Segan. "Most excellent. Perhaps it will get better yet." She really needed to keep track of which horses she bet on. "You look well." Happy to see him out and about.

He stood as Vanessa approached. Dark olive green eyes reflected the smile on his lips. "It has been a long time, Vanessa." He had met her probably six months ago, a few times when she had visited. "How are you, and congratulations on becoming a citizen of the fair lands of Heathfield."

Bright smile turned to Brogan with a nod. It had been a while since last seeing him. "I am quite well, and thank you. How are you this evening? It's nice to see you again."

"I am doing quite well and hope that I am making a few coins here.." with a bit of laughter to his tone as he took his seat again. "You have at least the last two races before the Hometown."

Looking up from his papers as he was keeping track of the races too, he gave a quick polite smile in a lazy sort of way to Vanessa before he was back to his reports.

"I'm glad I came in time for them." A smile given to Joseph as well, taking her seat to join them all for the last couple of races.

"For our Fifth race we have starting at Gate One on down: Justified Silver, Leviathan, Lil Darlin, Court Jester, Arion, Morgan, Silent Thunder, Magic Dust, Gypsy Prince, Lavender." George was on cue as the flag went down, "and they're off! We have Justified and Leviathan nose to nose in the lead out of the gates with Lil Darlin the closest behind them. Leviathan has taken the lead with a bottle neck for second between, Lil Darlin, Magic Dust and close on them between Lavender, Gypsy Prince and Justified Silver."

Next time he wasn't bringing his ticket! Seems he didn't do so well when he did. The ones he bet on just missing taking a win. He tucked it away. "Did you bet on the horses?"

Watching the race, then a smile to Segan, she nodded. "I did, but I can't remember which I bet on. I'm going to have to start getting more organized."

"Leviathan is keeping the lead with Magic Dust to pull up into second position. Court Jester in third with a few close behind him from that bottleneck. Leviathan, Court Jester and Gypsy Prince are the three in the lead with a few still capable of winning this race as they head for the finish line."

"Might be better not knowing and leaving it a surprise."

"But then I don't know who to cheer for."

"It has been another close race for third and second position with two upsets. Leviathan has taken the Win with Lil Darlin to come up from behind to Place and Silent Thunder as well coming up from behind to Show."

"Cheer for them all..." laughing as he shook off the feel of not doing well tonight and he had wanted to for a reason. Still, he had quite a few coins made over all the months of betting.

"For our Sixth and final Registered race of the night, we have starting at Gate One on down: Pretty Milkmaid, Gold Dust, Royal Pride, Song of Eire, Rag Doll, Cottage Rose, Rip Roaring, Shaya, Shooting Star and Legacy and Lace."  George once more swung the flag down as the gates were opened up and the horses out, "and they're off!"

"I'll cheer for them all then." Laughing some, she listened to the finish, then looked to the gates for the next race.

"Gold Dust heads out of the gates to take the early lead with Pretty Milkmaid right behind as well Cottage Rose. The track seems to be slower or just the horses this last race, Gold Dust has moved into the lead with Pretty Milkmaid falling to second, Rip Roaring with Shaya and Shooting Star nose to nose."

"I've been thinking of what I can bet yea in the hometown race. Maybe a lady's boot dagger, which is always frugal to have."

Quirked grin flashed over to Segan with a nod. "Ah, yes. Our betting. Hm...I'll have to come up with something just as handy."

"Gold Dust is way out in the lead with Shaya moving up to second place, Shooting Star then a few others not far behind. Gold Dust, Shaya, Song of Eire then Rag Doll in those positions as they head for the finish line. The finals are in for the final race, Gold Dust has taken the Win with Shaya to Place and Rag Doll to Show. Congratulations to all the winning horses and all horses for putting their heart into the race. I will take a ten minute break or so before we have the Hometown race. Those entering please let George know and if you will need a horse."

"I guess that's a good cue." She smiled over to Segan. "I've come to find my cooking won't hurt anyone. What about two cooked meals for my end of the bet?"

"I would not put you out for two meals. One would be enough and then use the other as another bet next time.." grinning a moment before rising. "Let's get ready while Patrick takes his break." There were not as many tonight that they might get him to race too.

"Fair enough." Up from her seat. "Which horses are up for the hometown?"

"Those down there," which he pointed out to the small Corral they were kept in by the tracks. He didn't know which was which offhand.

"Well, come on." She smiled to Segan and started in direction of the coral to pick out one of the horses.

Joe set the papers aside as he was down to where they signed up to race. He needed a distraction from work. "I'll ride Satyr." Turning a smile upon the approaching couple.

He was down with Gus to pick out two horses after Vanessa, being she got there before them. "I'll wager you 50 coins Gus and yea Joseph."

"You''re on, Brogan." He looked toward Joseph to see if he agreed as he headed to Dandelion.

"I think I'll ride Little Lady." Over to her stall to get her and walk her out to mount.

"I'll take you up on that with the usual between the three, loser pays both." As he mounted up Satyr.

"I'll ride Prancer," as Gus picked Dandelion. Soon they were mounted up and being shown to their gates. "Good luck to you all, and you best beat Segan there Vanessa or I'll be betting you next time to sweep you away with me." Adding a wink along with smile as they waited.

"We have starting at Gate One, Joseph McDonough riding Satyr. Gate Two, Vanessa Baltimore riding Little Lady, Gate Three, Segan Quinn riding Big Red. Gate Four, Brogan Frasier riding Prancer and in Gate Five, Gus Frasier riding Dandelion. Riders get ready." Which would only be a few moments before the flag went down. "And they're off!"

Brow quirked over to Brogan with a chuckle. "Good luck everyone. Brogan, you might be asking yourself for trouble." Into the gate and they were off. "Come on Little Lady."

"Brogan takes the lead leaving Vanessa and Segan necking right behind him, Joseph then Gus eating dust."

He was keeping pace with her with a grin her way in what Patrick said. Normal lingo for the tracks but there were other implications. "Better me than Brogan," shooting his friend a grin.

"Come on Satyr, I know you have it in you." Trying to get the steed moving a bit faster.

She looked to them both and just shook her head. "Sugar cubes if you show them how it's done, Lady."

He wasn't looking behind as he was intending to do his best in winning this race.

"C'mon, Dandelion. Let's not be last." Not that it was unusual for Gus to stay in that place.

"Vanessa has forged forward to take the lead with Brogan just behind her, Segan, Gus then Joseph."

"Bribery! I'll give you apples and sugar cubes, Red, just pass out that little lady ahead of you.."

"Sugar cubes, Lady!" Giggling as Little Lady moved ahead.

"Seems changes are taking place as Vanessa keeps the lead and Joseph comes up from behind into second position. Brogan and Segan nose to nose with Gus just behind them."

"Oats and apples," trying to find a combination he likes, "and I'll see about studding you out!"

Which had him laugh, "you're getting desperate Segan," though with humor. Wondering though if that would bring the stallion to move faster to win!

"Good girl, Lady! Pretty ribbons for your mane!"

"Vanessa is keeping her lead but Brogan has moved up taking second position, Joseph in third then Gus and in last is Segan as they head for the finish line!"

He let out a long frustrated growl, "so you're letting me know you are not a race horse, Red. No problem I will ride Thunder Thighs again next time and win!"

"Almost there, Lady! Nice wash down and a faithful rider for hometown races."

"And the final is, Vanessa takes the Win riding Little Lady. Gus takes Place and Brogan to Show. Vanessa wins a pearl necklace by Garath MacShire, candles from Kathleen Candles and a pie from Hazel at the Thistle along with 800 coins. Gus gets a puppy from Meadowlands Kennels, candles and a pie along with 500 coins. Brogan gets a terrarium with 2 chameleons, candles, a pie and 300 coins."

Little Lady was slowed with a pat to the neck. "Fantastically done, Lady. You've a faithful rider and sugar cubes and ribbons."

"The terrarium is from Beth O'Sullivan Little Friends Pet Shoppe."

"I owe you this time," which he was actually pleased with though he wouldn't have minded placing at least. All in the sport however as he was soon dismounted from Red to stretch his legs. It was kind of odd how his luck ran. Seemed low or high with little in between.

Gus was in shock. He wasn't much of a rider and to have come in second was quite a surprise. He walked Dandelion to cool him down, then headed to where the stable boys waited.  Once he dismounted, he offered the horse the apple he had in his pocket.  He would have given it over regardless if he had won or not.

She smiled to Segan as she dismounted. "Fair is fair. You won the last race." And started walking Little Lady back to her stall. "Congratulations to the winners."

"It was good seeing you all again. Have a great night. I'd share a drink but it will have to be another time." He had been lucky to be here at all. "Until then, stay safe and warm." Handing over the horse ridden before he was off to his own mount and on his way home once collecting those papers. He had a ride ahead of him and a few places yet to go.

"Good night, Joe. It was good to see you as always." He waved at the man as he dismounted.

"Good night, Joseph." Reins handed to a stable hand, she held out a few sugar cubes for Lady.

He waved to Joseph then the others as he took the moment to jot down a few notes.

"Good night Joseph, welcome home." He was aware there had been a few of them gone and now returning.

"Stop by the Casino when in town Joe, we can have a few drinks and catch up." Waving to the man before clasping his cousin's shoulder. "You did well Gus, came up from behind and all."

"Will do Brogan," saluting the group before riding off into a gallop.

He grinned at Brogan then shook his head. "It was all Dandelion, not me. I just hung on." Patting the horse, he stepped back and turned to face the others.

"Congratulations to you both."

"Congratulations to you, Vanessa," giving her a bow like one would a queen before he straightened with a daredevil grin.

"And to you, Vanessa. Well done. You too Brogan. You can put the terrarium in the casino."

"Congratulations, first prize suites you the best. You gained a few coins, seemed they up'ed the amount since last time. That's a good place for it, at the main bar just down the one end where it can be enjoyed and not be in the way."

"Thank you." To all with a small smile. "I think I'm going to head to the Thistle for my nightly cider. Will you all be going there?" Looking to them all, attention resting on Segan a moment longer.

"I'll be heading to Falkirk for my monthly meeting with Neale and the rest of the family." He tried to visit more than once, but sometimes was just too busy so race night was a definite. "It was good to see you all again."

"Only if you allow me to escort you." Teasing and yet not for he would see her back.

"It was nice to see you again, Gus." A wave to him, she smiled to Segan. "I couldn't possibly refuse such an offer."

"I will have to make it another time soon as I'm due to that meeting as well while here in Ballicastle. It was really nice seeing you again Vanessa," dark eyes there a moment before lifting upon Segan with a slow smile. Perhaps seeing more there on the Lady's part. He was one to know what one was thinking by their eyes. Came with being a gambler and running a Casino.

"It was nice to see you again, as well, Brogan. I hope to see you again soon."

He talked to a few of his men before heading down to catch up with Brogan and Gus. "Congratulations to all for a well spent evening." He too was to be at that meeting. Probably food and drink too as he was hungry again. What Brogan had brought up was enough to hold him over.

He wasn't sure why Brogan was looking at him that way, probably got a blank one back before he finally smiled. "Hope to see you soon, maybe at the casino some night." Leaving it go there as the three seemed to be on their way to some family meeting. That he understood. "Good to see you all and you do such a good job of announcing Patrick. You should have entered the race too."

A wave given to Patrick. "Be safe and have a nice evening."

"Maybe I'll have some of you give it a try if you'd like sometime." It was a whole different experience as his horse was brought around and he to mount up. Wasn't a long ride but he had ridden this night.

"Good night you two." He lifted a hand to wave then mounted his own horse. He enjoyed these family meetings.

He too was mounted up and starting on his way, "any time Segan, bring your friends with you too." A wink to Vanessa and a wave to the others about as he headed towards Falkirk.

He too headed out with his cousins and a satchel loaded with the final counts of the night along with all the winners to go over. Then there would be the bets to figure out and do up.

Grin to the wink from Brogan, she looked to Segan. "Shall we?"

"Indeed or we will be closing up the place." Helping her up onto her steed before he was mounted back up on Red. They would keep a good pace in getting back but not overly.



Date: 12-30-09
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 29

December Races

Patrick was in the tower on this cold night. There were blankets and small fires in safe contained barrels along the bleachers. There was the usual crowd but most stayed home preparing for the new year.  The first three races were run with the following winners:  Race 1 -   Blue Lightning to Win, Leviathan to Place, Rag Doll to Show; Race 2 - Charlie's Angel to Win, Gold Dust to Place, Forest Nymph to Show; Race 3 - Amber Dancer to Win, Beowulf to Place and Artemisia to Show; Race 4 - Peppermint to Win, Fandango to Place and Legacy & Lace to Show. 

Segan was one of the few regulars down in the stands near one of the fire barrels, it was a cold night to be out but the fires helped along with the comforters provided.

Gemma had decided to come watch the races this night since she had the time and the inclination. She sat beside Segan though she wasn't wrapped up. The fire was warmth enough. And she was enjoying herself.

Karina wouldn't miss the excitement of the races for anything, so she'd made the trip with Amergin tagging along. He sat at her feet in the stands, watching the larger animals on the field with bright interest. Karina sat with the Quinns, comfy in a wool blanket, cap and scarf.

Owain had been invited by Patrick to come down to the Races, so while even though his wife declined the idea of sitting outside in the cold for hours, he'd decided to come by and have a look. Arriving a bit late, he slipped into the stands, warm enough in gloves and a heavy coat. Offering a nod to those nearby, he found himself a seat on the benches to watch.

Being there were only a few out there, Patrick announced over the megaphone, "you're all welcome to come up here in the tower where it is warm," and enclosed. There was also the view too from up there. "For our fifth race of the night we have starting at Gate One on down: Fairuzhd, Justified Silver, Magic Dust, Harvest Gold, Song of Eire, Lil Darlin, Smoky Trails, Rip Roaring, White Satin and Kenchi." Things were going a little slower tonight for the cold as the men took their time getting the horses into the stalls at the gates. His crew also took longer making sure there were no icy spots developing along the track as they spread more sawdust and ash each time. Scraping away any excess mush.

"You want to watch the last two races from the Tower with Patrick?" He would leave it up to his sister and Karina."

"Aye, I'd like to see how it all looks from there." She leaned slightly to look at Karina. "You game?"

"Warm and a good view, 'course I'm game." A little grin as she reached down to scoop up Amergin under her arm - something that was getting harder as the pup grew bigger. Standing she'd follow the others up to the tower.

Being they both agreed, he was up to escort them both up to the tower. Took a few flights of bleachers before leveled off and into the Tower room, holding the door for them then to close once they were both inside. "Thanks Patrick." Looking between Gemma and Karina, "have you both met Patrick Frasier?"

He greeted them with a smile and before he could say anything else, the flag was down, the gates opening, "...and they're off!" rang out clear over the megaphone. Aside where he stood at a desk, one with piles of papers on it that all dealt with the races, there were a number of seats on either side in front of the large windows that went from floor to ceiling. "Song of Eire charges out from the gates to take the lead with Magic Dust on their tail. Fairuzhd not far behind.

Owain watched as the others all filed up to the tower, and glanced up at it over his shoulder. While he still felt a stranger here and didn't want to impose, nor did he want to appear rude. So after the others had walked up, he too stood and followed. Up the flights of stairs before he was at the door, and he gave it a light knock before opening it and peering around inside.

Not yet she hadn't. She gave Segan a shake of her head but before she could greet him, the next race started. The man at the door received another smile before she was watching once more. What a great view!

Karina waved to Owain, nodding to Segan - she'd met Patrick once or twice. Then she was leaning forward to watch, giving a small bounce of excitement. She'd bet on a couple of those horses in the lead.

"Good evenin'," he offered in his deep voice before stepping in fully, closing the door to keep in the warmth. "Mr Quinn, Miss Karina. Mr Frasier," he greeted those he knew  by name formally before bowing to Gemma. "We've nae met yet... I am Owain." Formalities done he stepped forward, blue eyes soon fastened upon the races below.

"Magic Dust has pulled ahead having Song of Eire drop back into second place. Justified Silver and Lil Darlin are neck and neck for third spot."

"Segan," correcting Owain with a smile. "Patrick," indicating the one calling the race which they would have to forgive while he made the announcements. The race would not wait for  socialization. He would introduce his sister next. "This is my sister Gemma, Owain, you have met Karina I believe."

"Gemma Quinn. It's a pleasure, Owain." And she was watching again. And that had her laughing and hugging her brother.

At that, Owain glanced to Segan and then Gemma with a nod and brief smile. Then it was back to the races. He watched keenly, his well-trained eyes not focusing upon the horses' speed, but their conformation, their build and the way their muscles bunched powerfully. The small nuances of form that could speak volumes to an experienced equestrian.

"Magic Dust is keeping the lead by not by much with Song of Eire Close behind. Lil Darlin passing out Justified to take third spot clearly." Not that anything was ever 'clear' in a race such as these. "Song of Eire has pulled out into the lead as well Lil Darlin has passed out Magic Dust who has fallen back to third spot. Will there be an upset as to who will win, place or show as they head for the finish line?"

"Woohoo!" Karina cheered for nobody in particular. She remembered she'd betted on some of those horses, couldn't remember in what order exactly but... it was fun anyway.

"It was a very close race but we have the results," there were three judges down at the finish line to make the call, all highly respected individuals. "Lil Darlin takes the win by a nose, Song of Eire to Place and Magic Dust to Show."

Song of Eire was Conor's horse so Gemma let out a whoop for him then chuckled. Maybe he liked the cold better than warmer days.

"Fandango Placed too." So they were doing good. Fandango being his horse. He always accepted hugs as one was given back. "Patrick, this is my sister Gemma." Finally getting in the introduction.

He would have a few minutes as he turned, tipped smile held a dimple off to one side. Green eyes keen that shifted between his guests in a welcoming way halting on Gemma. Another pretty face. His smile touched up a fraction. "A pleasure to meet you Gemma. The Quinns are quite a large family that I've not met everyone yet. Please," looking between them, "make yourselves comfortable. There is hot coffee, tea and potcheen to indulge in along with finger foods." Which one of the men had brought him up a platter knowing Patrick would forget to eat.

Segan would help himself to some of the coffee as well a bit of the food being there was a lot on that platter, far too much for one person to consume or even a few.

"Aye... a pleasure." Owain added, remembering his manners as he tore his eyes away from the horses now cooling down below. Turning back to Gemma he gave another brief nod  that was also a small bow, before turning his eyes over the others. "I hope ye've all been well."

Karina didn't need much urging. She followed Segan over to the table, helping herself to some of the fare. Free food never got old. You'd think by the way she stuffed herself, she'd gain some weight, but it seemed she was just of a naturally thin build.

"We are at that." She offered Patrick a dimpled smile as she spoke. Patrick needed to meet the rest then. "As are the Frasiers. Thank you for the offer." Owain was also given another smile. She understood how some were about horses. And with that, she was following Segan and Karina for some coffee and a bite to eat. It looked like Patrick usually had guests up here, not realizing it was his men's way to make sure he ate.

"Yes," which had him chuckle as his family was probably second largest to the McAndrews. There were a few large families but all were family as ones found out that ventured into these lands. "Good to see you Owain, once the races are done you're welcome to visit the stables, talk to the jockeys and owners if they are there. Possibly Donovan or Lizabet McKnight." Whoever was still around and if asked who sent him, he knew who to say. A tracing glance swept over Gemma as she joined the others before he was announcing the horses in the next race. Turning back around to speak though the megaphone. "For our sixth and final Registered race tonight we have starting at Gate One on down: Morgan, Arion, Snake Bite, Court Jester, Avatar, Golden Lady, RW Blackbird, Ash & Stone, Solid Rock and Bayda Farasha." He was watching for the man with the flag to indicate when the horses and tracks were ready. Moments later the flag was down, "and they're off!"

"I may do that, aye. Thank ye," he answered Patrick briefly in his quiet tones before allowing the man to get back to work. And allowing his attention to latch once again on the race.

It was a very good start for most, best start up of the night. "We have Avatar, RW Blackbird and Ash & Stone nose to nose for the first place out of the gates. Snake Bite close behind as well Arion and Bayda Farasha."

"I bet on Snake Bite!" Karina said through a full mouth, giving Segan's arm a shake before crossing over to look out the window.

She was back over again to watch, cutting a quick glance toward Karina and chuckling.

"Avatar has pulled out to take the lead a fraction ahead of RW Blackbird. Court Jester has pulled up from behind just ahead of Arion." Which the others had fallen behind those mentioned. "RW Blackbird has pulled ahead of Avatar with Arion falling into third spot." It wasn't set until they crossed that line although if a huge distance gained early on, the one usually won.

"Who else did you bet on?" His mug of coffee sloshing as he chuckled, lifting his arm so it didn't spill. "You bet on four horses a race."

"You 'spect me to remember all of 'em, in order?" Flashing Segan a smirk before looking back down as she answered. "Think I also put money on Court Jester...oh and Arion too."

"Avatar has passed out RW Blackbird to take the lead as well Golden Lady to move into second leaving RW in third at this point. We could have a few upsets as they head for the finish line." Which was where some pulled up from behind to either take a win or at least place. "Avatar has taken the win with Golden Lady to Place and Arion coming up from behind to Show. This concludes our register races tonight. If there are enough that wish to do the hometown, that will be up next once the tracks are cleared."

Karina cheered again, though she hadn't won many of her bets tonight. Ah, well. Now just picking at her small plate of food, she glanced around to the others idly. "How'd you lot do tonight? On the bets?"

"Please let George know if you are entering the Hometown Race and what horse you will be riding. Either your own or one of the donated horses from the stables."

"Karina, you can ride Big Red, I'll ride Thunder Thighs. Last time I rode her for bets, I won." So he was down to let George know he would be entering and riding Thunder.

Karina might be a daredevil but even she knew she was hardly experienced enough for a race... or was she? She gave a slight laugh at Segan's suggestion but she got that glint in her eye. It only took her a few seconds to decide and she was off to the door, with a glance back to Gemma. "Are you gonna ride too?"

Rhett finally finished up the steel skeleton for another Roller and so headed to the Races hoping he might still catch one. Just in time to hear the announcement so he went straight to George to ride Prancer being he was available.

Owain lifted a hand to rub the stubble there briefly in thought. But it had been so long since he'd ridden, really ridden.... and he knew Blaze would love the opportunity to stretch his legs and really run, the way they used to. And so he went to have a word with George, entering himself along with his chestnut gelding.

"Aye, I am. Cerri is my own horse." She'd give the nickname rather than her horse's full name. "Loves to run."

"Good! I won't be the only lass then," a quick grin and then she was off downstairs to speak with George. Nearly crashing into Rhett when she got there, "Oh! Hallo. Are you ridin' as well?" Taking a step back and letting George know she'd be riding Big Red in the meanwhile.

Which had him catching her up, swinging her around then steady on her feet before released. "I certainly did, think you can beat me in the race no matter who wins?"

Oh my! Swooped she was and it made her laugh a little breathlessly. She tugged at her shirt once released, glad she'd worn breeches, a vest and tunic tonight instead of a dress atop the pants. Her lips twisted in a sly smirk at the proposition and she nodded. "Course I can. You're on."

Tomas was up to the Tower to get Patrick down and race with the others, "make a bet with that lady," indicating Gemma. "If you're smart that is." Grinning as he took over the megaphone after getting all the ones that signed up. "We have starting at Gate One," speaking with a drawl, "Segan Quinn riding the infamous Thunder Thighs," which had hoots and hollers came up like a wave of sound from the stables and all the crews out there working for the Downs. "Next we have the little lady Karina riding Big Red. In third Gate Rhett on Prancer, Gemma on Cerri, Patrick," which he had put down already and he would find out once down to the gate and watching him mount up, "on Satyr and Owain on Blaze in stall six. Please get yourselves ready and wait for the flag to go down."

Owain had gone to adjust the saddle and reins on Blaze, whom he'd ridden here to the Races. "Think you still have it in ye, old lad?" He murmured to his old friend, a half smile softening his lips as he rubbed the gelding's neck. Then he was leading the horse to the last gate, hushing him, though Blaze was a calm horse and only shied a bit once loaded.

"I'll give you a finely made canteen to hold water if you beat me." So he would sweeten the pot as he got adjusted in the stall and use to the horse he was riding.

Hopefully Tomas wouldn't mind company in the form of one half-grown, generally-well-behaved husky pup! She'd left Amergin up in the tower too.

Patrick gave Tomas a look even from that distance that spoke volumes but a smile crept over his features nonetheless. "I'm to make a bet with you Gemma. I'm at a loss as to how to go about it." He had been socially deprived for far too long. "A ride about the lands in one of the horse drawn sleighs?" Hoping that didn't sound too personal. The Quinns were fairly new to the lands and thought that a good idea to offer.  Tomas didn't mind at all as he was tossing bits from the platter for the dog to catch, see if he could do any tricks too.

"Oh will ye? Hope ye don't like that canteen too much," another little grin as she went to find Big Red. A few moments spent to familiarize herself with the horse, and him to her, adjusting the stirrups to her smaller height. "And  if by some small chance you win," she called back to Rhett, "I shall give you... well I'll think of something if need be." She knew she must have some knickknack or another laying about.

She blinked and looked at him, then grinned. "You are, are you? All right, then how about if I offer you a handmade scarf and gloves." She wouldn't offer a cooked meal because Gemma couldn't boil water! But she knew Gram would love to knit another scarf and pair of gloves. "In your favorite color."

Segan gave a snort, worthy of a horse! "You're all pathetic, you could at least offer kisses," obviously teasing as he grinned their way.

Teasing or not he could feel the heat rise around the neck of his sweater worn beneath the heavy jacket. He cleared his throat but would get even sometime the opportunity arose on Segan.

Patrick looked from Segan to Gemma. First trying to determine her age to see if his comment would deserve a slap or not. "If the Lady were obliging I would not mind." And that was that on it.

Karina couldn't look at Rhett when that was suggested! Instead she stuck out her tongue at the sailor. "Fine. If you beat me, I shall give you one day's service as a deckhand. And if I beat you..." Devilish smile appearing. "You have to clean out three of the big bird cages at the Gardens. Rat guts and all."

She gave Segan a look that said she'd get him later but she offered Patrick a grin. "I'll add that to the scarf and gloves." And no, she didn't blush.

"Aye, you have that bet Karina." Grinning from ear to ear. "But, you still haven't said what you'd give Rhett there, why not a kiss if he beats you in the race?"

"I'd not turn it down." Which had him giving Segan a look. "Is this a kiss to the cheek or the lips kind we're talking about here?"

"Lips, anything else can be done outside a bet." So could the other of course but he was pushing the envelope. "Owain, I'll bet you a new bridle for that fine horse you have there, if you can beat me in the race and something of equal value if I beat you?" At least getting him into the spirit of betting as this was the fun part of the Hometown race. In the least there were coins and gifts to win too.

"........." She was going to kill Segan. Literally. Bash him over the head as he slept, or strangle him. Either way it would be a long and painful death for the way he was making her go all red!

Date: 12-30-09
Poster: Patrick Frasier:
Post # 30

Glance stolen to Rhett as the crimson color only spread from cheeks to ears. But she found it in herself to clear her throat and ask, "shouldn't it be for the better to decide the terms?" Forcing herself to meet Rhett's eyes as an eyebrow quirked up.

No matter what Gemma did, she'd have Herself plotting to meet Patrick. Somehow this was going to be all Segan's fault!

Yes. He was loving it too, look at the smug expression he wore.

Owain had been quietly waiting, patting Blaze's neck and looking down the track when he caught his name. Looking down the stalls to Segan as he considered. He wasn't usually a betting man but it all seemed to be in good spirits, so he nodded. "I've a good sturdy small table nearly finished." Carpentry being a hobby for him. "I'll give that to ye and stain it any color ye wish, should ye beat me."

"Whatever you wish but usually it is stated before the race begins, Karina." He would not push her into promising a kiss but certainly she could mention what she planned or turn down betting. "One doesn't have to bet." Dipping glance with a pressed smile before blue eyes lifted up and over to where Segan sat upon his horse in the stall. The horses were starting to get antsy.

"And folks, we have them stalling on their bets luckily as it has given the crew the time needed to get all the slush swept away. We may have a new mascot as someone left their dog here and I'm getting partial to him." That was Tomas over the megaphone and busting one lass of course.

"No.. I already said I'd give you something if you beat me." She glanced around as the announcements began, pausing to laugh. "Don't you dare kidnap my dog!" Called up to the tower with a broad smirk. Then back to Rhett as she took a breath. "So.... for lack of a better idea than what Segan gave...." Long pause as she half-bent over Big Red to pat his neck then said simply, "Alright." But she couldn't quite hide her smile nor the blush that still remained.

"You have a deal." So he has two bets all cleared up and accepted as he gave a signal to George he was ready. Only one wasn't and you could bet he was keeping an ear on that conversation.

Words came low with the press of a smile. "Only if you lose and it wont be the end of the world." Segan was going to have a few to get even with him eventually. Gemma might organize them together knowing her brother the best. He gave a nod to George who was waiting them getting all their bets aside and organized.

Karina shot a sidelong glance to Rhett, wondering if he thought that she was reluctant... well, she HAD been reluctant but it wasn't necessarily because she didn't want to... ack, but she didn't know what to say and the flag was about to drop. So she just tightened her hands on the reins and looked forward, waiting for the jump.

George gave a nod then the flag was waved up then down, the gates of the stalls opening up and hopefully the riders out! Tomas called out, "and they're off," with a bark from the pup in emphasis with his words.  "It is Karina on Big Red that has surged from the gates to take the lead. Rhett right behind her on Prancer, Gemma next on Cerri, Patrick on Satyr, Owain on Blaze and Segan barely out of the gate on Thunder Thighs."

She might get Cessa to help too! Maybe even Eion but then the horses were leaving the gate and they were off!

"Come on Thunder Thighs, show your stuff your so infamous for. I'll see you get some of your favorites, carrots!" Segan wouldn't mind if he came in last, it was getting them all going that made his night.

"WOAH!" She yelped at the powerful forward thrust of the horse beneath her. Holding on for dear life she leaned down close alongside the horse's neck and just clung there like a sand burr!

"Come on Prancer if I'm to ever have a kiss from the lass.." words low as he leaned in and hoping the horse was sympathetic to his cause.

"I like the view," more to himself as Gemma was just enough ahead of him for him to appreciate. Ahem.
  Owain wasn't in it to win, either. Just happy to have a chance for Blaze to stretch his legs, and for him to feel the rush of wind against his face. He slipped into his native Scottish as he murmured into Blaze's ear, urging him on with gentle presses of his heels.

And she was wearing those nicely fitting leather pants that she favored too. Good thing she couldn't hear Patrick?

"Rhett has pulled into the lead with Segan coming up from behind to move into second. Karina dropping back to third, Owain, Gemma and Patrick."  Maybe the horse became sympathetic to his cause?

You know he would grin passing Karina knowing well it would spark her to ride harder! Just to beat him if anything.

"Come on, Cerri, lass. Can't have Segan beating us now can we." Patrick she might not mind.

He still had the nice view as long as no one blocked it. Laughing as Segan got Thunder to shake her thighs and on the move.

He wasn't in any bet with Gemma!

No he wasn't but it was a matter of sibling pride! She laughed as it seemed Cerri was working with Segan!

Segan was right about that. Karina's widened eyes relaxed as Big Red suddenly seemed to lag. "Ack, c'mon boy, don't give Segan the satisfaction!" She'd snap the reins lightly against the horse's neck to urge him along. She didn't miss the fact that Rhett had passed her, either.

"Keep it up laddie and I'll make sure it's worth your while." Blinking in surprise as the horse must have been listening.

"Rhett is keeping his lead with Karina in second spot. Patrick has come up from behind to go nose to nose with Segan, Gemma then Owain. This race still has two laps to go!"

Owain glanced ahead as the others began to steadily pass him, but he only smiled a bit as he murmured down to Blaze. "Ach, don't worry, old boy. Ye don't need to prove yourself." He'd just enjoy the ride and the feel of Blaze galloping beneath him. The horse still had a smooth gait even at a gallop, the result of much hard work and training on Owain's part.

He was still surprised that no one had passed him out yet. Hoping to stay ahead at least of Karina but then he really wanted to give her the canteen for it would come in handy for her trip. Ah, the quandary.

He was missing the view but he'd be pleased to keep the lead for the bet that had been amplified to something worth riding hard for.

Was it horrible that she sort of hoped she would lose to Rhett even if just by a nose?... Her competitive side was warring with other desires. "Yah!" She squeezed her legs against Red's flanks again. Then looked up.... now it was she that had the good view....

He was letting out a long hoot and holler, "not for long my pretty," taunting Karina as she briefly pulled ahead or so making it sound.

A smirk as she lifted her head long enough to call back to Segan, "Just you wait! Rat guts! Lots of 'em!" Uh oh, but now she was falling back again...

"Rhett is still keeping his lead on Prancer. The lad is doing good. Segan has passed out Karina again who is now in third place. Patrick, then Gemma and last but certainly not least, Owain on Blaze. Who I might add,  has never been on this track."  He tossed the pup another bit as he barked for it. "Our mascot says that anything goes as they head for the finish line."

"The mascot better be cheering for his master!"

The mascot was cheering for the one feeding him!

Of course the best way to any pup's heart was through his stomach.

Well, at least now she was the one with the nice view. She was laughing as she caught Karina and Segan's banter though.

He liked this part of passing Karina just to give that wicked grin then concentrated on keeping his lead being he was up far enough to actually beat her.

"You're doing great Prancer, keep it up." Encouraging the stallion as he continued to lean in with the motion. He knew Tomas was right, anyone could pass him out, just about, and take the win.

Rhett shouldn't have had that thought and jinxed himself! "And we have it ladies and gentlemen. Karina takes the win as she surges ahead of Rhett who takes Place. Segan to Show. It was a close call between Patrick and Gemma but by a tongue that her horse stuck out just in time, gave her forth place. Patrick in fifth and Owain in sixth."

She hadn't even been pushing Red that hard.... apparently Segan's horse was competitive too! She was actually a bit surprised as she crossed the finish line first, but let out a victorious whoop nonetheless.

Now it would go down that Gemma won by a tongue!

That was just ... so wrong.

Won by a tongue over Patrick.. ah the rumors!

"I will get the canteen to you before you leave. If not in person, it will be at the Thistle with Alex." Which it was a really nice one as the pressed smile came to life again. He walked Prancer so he could cool down before dismounting.

"Congratulations Karina," which certainly he meant his words and that glint in blue eyes that he was proud of her ability to ride.

"Oh, ah...." Still a bit flushed with the thrill of the race, she rode Red down to a trot and then a walk so the horse could catch his breath. "Thanks!" Interrupted by Segan she threw a grin his way. "I'll see you soon at the Gardens then." A smirk before she looked back to Rhett, the smile turning crooked. "Alright. Thanks. You rode good, I barely beat you and that was just sheer luck."

Ah well. And he might still get a kiss, maybe during the sleigh ride. She slowed Cerri to a walk, patting her on the neck. "You did well lass, for not knowing the track." She gave Karina a grin then looked at Patrick. "Well, you'll have to let me know when we'll be taking that ride."

"I'm usually found there of late.." grinning as it was not out of his way and cleaning the cages for a day would not be bad, especially if he was in Vanessa's company.

She was going to give Segan the messiest bird cages just to get the most out of the bet. Vanessa's company or no, mouse intestines were rather disgusting to pick up from out of the mulch. "Thanks." Added to Gemma with another grin.

"Congratulations. I'll just have to beat you next time we both are here to race." If that came about, he would take advantage of it. A hand easily and naturally going down the length of the horses neck until one of the stable lads were over to fetch him being he was one of theirs.

Karina swung her leg over to dismount and hopped down to the ground. Eyes dipping down in thought before lifting again almost slyly. Did she dare? "You have a deal if it's the same bet going." Pause. "'Cept yours doesn't have to be a canteen again, of course, it can be... well... whatever." Not as eloquent as she'd meant it but the grin was there teasing her lips crookedly.

"I've a craft, finest swords and daggers made. It would be something else." Which he agreed. He needed to get himself a horse to ride about, not just the one for his wagon.

Owain rode at a walk until Blaze stopped blowing, then dismounted. He was smiling as he patted the gelding's neck. "Good lad." Proud of his mount for holding his own, despite his age and the fact that this was his first time racing on such a track. And he knew Isabelle would be tickled when he told her about it.

Karina blinked. "Right. Well.... alright then." A slight smile as she handed Red off to a stable hand who'd care for the horse until Segan came to claim him. "Well I'm not going for another few days so, maybe I'll see ya."

"It is late and I've a need of sleep. We can all go back together to Heathfield." He had ridden in but it was a workhorse, not fit for racing at all. Might go lame if tried and he wouldn't chance it.

He would collect Big Red soon as they had the ride back. "We can all go together." He was pretty tired at this point and a bit disappointed Vanessa had not come. Which wasn't a bad thing, considering the alternative not caring that she had not.

"Sure. I just need to fetch Amergin." And apparently pry him away from Tomas, his new best friend! Pushing back the sleeves of her sweater Karina jogged up the stairs to claim the husky, who was happily sleepy after so many snacks from Tomas.

Tomas had done up a bag of what was left on the platter. Being it would only spoil and dogs could eat things far longer left out than humans. "Bring him again, I enjoyed the pup," giving her a wink for all the earlier teasing. He announced over the megaphone. "You see the lady home Patrick, we've got you covered here in closing up. The men agree you need a break." Nice warning but certainly concerned. "Visit your cousins in the lands."

"I will, and he'll be happy for the visit I'm sure. Thanks," added with a quick grin as she took the doggy bag of leftovers in one hand, the doggy himself with the other.

Patrick had finished talking to one of the stable lads, who was telling him any injuries or concerns on the race horses when he was reminded over the megaphone, no less, of his working too much. Had a glance from the tower to Gemma and a slow smile to follow. "It seems I have some that will make sure I treat a lady correctly. If I may escort you home?" Tomas would be gotten even with, even if he didn't mind seeing to the lady.

Segan almost said something about Gemma being seen to properly for he was here. Except he stayed his tongue for a change and only grinned Gemma's way.

Now if she were the type to blush, she would be. Instead she cut a glance toward Segan then smiled at Patrick. "I would be delighted for the company." She thought they were all going to travel together, but Patrick would be more than welcome.  After all, she didn't want Segan riding ahead and telling everyone!

"You rode here, Karina?" Wondering and to make sure for if she hadn't, she could ride in the wagon with him pulled by the workhorse. There were metal pieces in the back covered over. Some that had been delivered and some that he would on the way home.

Exactly the point. Exactly why Tomas didn't need to announce such over the megaphone and was being a devil because he could be and was every chance he got. He should have been a Frasier. The lad brought out another horse for riding as Patrick swung up into the saddle and was over with the group to start off on their way.

"Uh... no. I just walked," she admitted. Being that she didn't have a horse and was used to walking places anyway, the distance hadn't felt too long for her. Though with the late hour, it wasn't as appealing.

It had to have taken her most of the day. "You can ride with me then." Which another stable lad was kind enough to draw up his wagon he left at the stable while here. He would see her in as a coin was given the boy and he off feeling quite rich. Once she was in, he would climb in the other side. With reins in hand he set the horse in motion towards home with the others.

Gemma had Cerri to ride back so the filly would be happy. "You'll be joining us, Owain?" Nice to travel in a group at night.

She'd set off in the morning after her duties at the Gardens, and walked briskly. Still it had taken hours and she was pleased with the offer for a ride. "Thanks." The same half-smile as she climbed up to sit on the wagon's bench, Amergin placed beside her. The company wasn't bad either, but she kept the thought to herself.

Segan was already on his way while the others dallied.

"Aye, though mayhap a bit behind." Didn't want to ride Blaze too hard after the race. The dark-haired young man was mounted again, and fell into line behind the others for the ride back.

Once Gemma was ready, he would gear his horse in a comfortable gait alongside hers and pick up some conversation. Get in some practice.



Date: 02-24-10
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 31

February 24: Night at the Races

Patrick was up in the Tower announcing the races. The night had been good for a wintry one, only a few flurries to fall in a light reminder of the season. The tracks had been cleared earlier and after each race they were raked down and more sawdust mixed with hay added where needed. There were a few citizens out in the stands, some he recognized and some he did not. "We will take a short break before the Hometown race is to begin," announced clearly over the megaphone as his men were working on the track to put it back in tip top shape after the Registered Races were finished. "Anyone interested, please let our flag man George know, your name and that of the horse. There are eight horses available to ride if you have not your own. Thunder Thighs and Prancer from the McDonough Stables, Little Lady and Satyr from the Barrett Stables, Sassy Sally and Dandelion from Golden Dawn Stables and Ole Seadog along with Grainne from the Frasier Stables. I will return shortly."

Liam watched the races with great interest. This was the first one he had been too and found them exciting. Also of interest was watching others and gaining names through overheard conversations.

In spite of the cold, Gemma had enjoyed watching the races once again. She wasn't sure which horses she had bet on, except for those of her siblings, but it didn't matter. She loved to watch how the horses seemed to enjoy the race.

Segan came late with Vanessa, arriving in a carriage and had eaten on their way. Grandmama had her day, or more aptly night, in watching Ysa for them so they could go out. "I forgot my ticket of those I bet on!" After searching his pockets once they arrived. He probably left it on the table at the manor. Once the carriage pulled to a stop within the compound, he was out to help Vanessa out in his wake. He was told by one of the men working that the registered races were finished but the Hometown race had yet to begin, Master Frasier needed a break and so there was time to enter, choose horse from those offered. Tennison was at the back of the carriage for Vanessa as well his horse Big Red, now that Karina was back and his horse returned.

Vanessa felt kind of bad leaving Ysa with Yaya as often as she did, but the woman practically threw them out so they could have a night without the babe. She was going to comment on Segan's ticket but then heard that the races were done. All but the Hometown. Taking the offered hand, she smiled to Segan. "Well, at least we're in time for the best of the races." Nothing like the chance to join in. Tennison enjoyed it as much as she did.

Rhett was in the stands not far from Liam and Gemma. A wayward smile as he got up and advanced on the two, "how about joining in the Hometown race? There are some nice prizes and coins to be won. Maybe buy yourself a racing horse Liam." Catching sight of the carriage he waved to both Vanessa and Segan. Pressed smile lasting a moment although he noticed a certain lass was not with them. Then again, why would they take another on a date? The thought had him laugh of a sudden.

Claire arrived at Falkirk Downs, anticipation gleaming in eyes of emerald green, speckled with gold. It had been ages since she had stepped foot in Heathfield but Lord, had she missed its all places and people. Idle fingers tinkered with the few coins in her pocket, a light smile playing upon full lips. Oh, gambling--she chuckled to herself. A hobby best left to others for she was far too impulsive to indulge in such! Skirts of dove gray swished gently as she made her way forth, heavy cloak wrapped around her frame. Fur-lined hood sat loosely upon mahogany curls, eager to see the race begin! Never one of a shy disposition, a friendly smile was offered to all.

"I'll join in, I doubt my cousin could ride a horse better than myself. If she can beat me, I'll make her breakfast, if she loses, she can make me breakfast." Rising as he spoke he caught sight of Segan and Vanessa as he waved their way before giving Gemma a pointed look. Slow wicked grin that danced a spark in dark eyes. The dare was there, the gauntlet thrown at her feet. One that would only cost a breakfast for some fun. He noticed one he'd not seen before as he called out to her, "join in the race if you dare." Although not giving her a dare because he already gave one to Gemma.

Patrick was around, leaving Thomas to take over the megaphone and announce the riders. "I will offer you the same challenge if you want to spare another breakfast." He paused to stare at the lady coming in, one he had not seen in at least three years. "Claire? Claire O'Reilly?" Unless she had a twin.

Gemma blinked when she realized the dare Liam was making. "You want me to make your breakfast? " She rubbed her forehead as she laughed. "You're both brave since I'm known to burn water, but you're on." She looked at Rhett and shrugged, still laughing.

Segan started laughing, "poor Gemma, poor men.." Taking care of the two horses and letting George know that they would be riding in the race.

Claire swung around and blinked. Delightful laughter rang out and she rushed forth to grab his hands in hers. "Patrick Frasier..." She nodded slowly. "'Tis been a very long time." Releasing his hands, she sank before him in a curtsy. "A pleasure to see you again."

Liam and Rhett both got a wave from Vanessa as she took Tennison's reins with a quiet laugh. "If she serves fruit for breakfast, then she won't have to cook."

"Fifty Coins if you can beat me, Gemma." Gemma as getting all the dares. Pressed smile and he was on his way down to claim Dandelion as the horse he would ride.

"George, I'll be riding Grainne, I'm thinking." She called out to the man as she made her way to the horses. "You're on, Rhett." Leather clad legs made it easy for her to mount the horse.

Patrick would be riding Sassy Sally as George already got her out and waiting his Lordship.

Liam was down to claim Satyr as the one he'd be riding and mounted up. Such a grin Gemma's way as he waited.

Taking both her hands in his for a moment, "it has been a while. You are looking very well." Hands released as he gestured to the tracks. "I'm not sure if we were running them when you were here. Presently there is the Hometown race, would you care to enter it? The prizes are descent and the time spent is fun for most." Then on his manners. "Everyone, this is Claire, Claire, meet Segan, Vanessa, Rhett, Gemma and Liam."

"Nice to meet you Claire, do join in. There are a few horses left."

Segan helped Vanessa up before mounting Red. Easing the stallion over to the others where they would be assigned stalls. "A pleasure Claire," winsome smile that touched upon blue eyes before a thought had him turning on Vanessa. "A bet sweetens the run, this breakfast a good idea, but maybe serve mine in bed or me to serve yours as such?"

"Hello Claire, welcome back." As he had picked up on that much and had heard of her before, years ago in passing conversations.

"Thank you. As do you." Eyes swept over the track before swinging over to the group of people at the tracks. "Enchantée.." Another curtsy given to all before rising, teeth nibbling at her lower lip. "Well, I don't see why not. I daresay you shall have to pick my horse, Patrick, for I've not familiarity with any of them." She tossed a smile at Rhett. "Thank you for your welcome."

"Well met, Claire." She lifted a hand in greeting then gave Liam a look for the grin. He'd be sorry if he won!

"I would suggest Prancer or Little Lady." As neither horse was taken. He was making his way down and over to mount Sassy Sally. "Ride Little Lady then," being either was fine. The mare being brought out for her.

Tennison was reined to follow, giving a nod or wave to those who were also gathered around before looking to Segan. "I think that sounds a fair bet. The winner can give their breakfast preference after the race."

"That is fair and square, a few days if needed to get all ingredients." He was nodding as he then looked up to the tower where a lad was talking to Thomas.

Thomas held up the Megaphone as his voice, one like sandpaper over gravel, rose up to echo through the whole compound of the race tracks. "Tonight we have seven contenders for prizes and coin, plus whatever bets they make amongst themselves." A laugh sounding more like a snorkle sounded caught by the megaphone. "In Gate Number One on down.. we have Segan riding Big Red, Vanessa riding Tennison, Rhett riding Dandelion, Gemma riding Grainne, Patrick riding Sassy Sally, Liam riding Satyr and last but certainly not least, Claire riding Little Lady. Please get yourselves ready, situated and any bets to be made done before George flags the start."

"All right." Grinning, she made way for the horse, crooning as she neared. "Little Lady Luck, are you..."

"A bet then." She nodded and followed his attention to Thomas. Vanessa turned Tennison to follow and steered him to the second gate with a pat to his neck.

He got in the first stall of Gate One as he got himself situated.

He had Gate Six as he got within and settled Satyr as well himself. Next month he would try to convince his brothers to come with him and get some good bets going.

Gate Five was his as he got within and settled Sassy in preparation of when the gate flung open.

Grainne was ready to run though she knew the horses could be unpredictable.

Rhett led Dandelion into Gate Three assigned him as he too got ready, glancing right then left down the other riders with a pressed smile in place.

Claire was up and saddled, gate number seven. With an easy laugh, she too glanced down the line, eager to fly along the race track.

Thomas watched George as the flag went down once they were all ready, "and............ they're off!" The gates flying open as the horses dashed out.

Click of her tongue and some words to Tennison, he shot out past the gates, ready to race!

"We have Liam taking the lead with Patrick close behind then Vanessa. Segan, Rhett, Claire and last Gemma."

He almost fell off with the horse charging ahead like that. "Woooooooooooooottttt," came out in a woosh as he took the lead.

Patrick was trying not to laugh too much and pay attention to his riding. It looked like he might get burnt water for breakfast afterall!

As the gate open, Claire nudged her knees into the mare's sides with an enthusiastic "Hah! and went racing out onto the track.

He was mainly watching one as heels nudged, "c'mon Big Red, you can do this for me!"

Rhett gave a few whistles to get his horse moving faster. Although he was not in last place!

"C'mon, Grainne. I'll see to extra carrots for you if you get moving." She was laughing though as she coaxed the horse.

"Patrick has passed out Liam. Claire has moved up into third position with Vanessa next, Rhett and Gemma necking, errr.. neck to neck and Segan falling a pace behind them."

"Come on, Tennie! Sugar and apples if ya win!"

He was quite surprised that Sassy was showing her spunk as he was in the lead, a precarious position especially this early in the race.


"Come on, my lucky Little Lady," Her coaxing seemed to do the trick as the mare found a burst of energy and soared down the track. Claire's head craned to look behind her in disbelief until they swung forth to concentrate.

"C'mon Red, I'll give you those sugar and apples if you past out Tennisonn!" He was getting more behind instead. Although Red was a good horse he was not good in any of the races he'd been in.

"Hey, where do you think you're going?" This to Patrick as he passed him out while laughing. "You just keep ahead of Gemma, Satyr and I'll see to oats or your favorite, apples, sugar, pears.."

Hearing he was necking with Gemma had red creeping up along Rhett's neck. He couldn't look at Gemma and tried to spur his horse ahead.

Gemma hadn't heard George for all the noise from the horses. She was trying to coax the horse into more.

"Patrick is keeping the lead with Liam close behind. Claire is keeping third position with Rhett closing in on her. Gemma, Vanessa and Segan, all very close still."

"Hey sweetheart," calling out as Vanessa dropped back to just in front of him. "Feeling bad for big ole Red?" Giving a whistle with a few more to follow in distracting her if possible.

"Good girl!" Giving a shrill whistle as she urged Little Lady to keep at it. Her laugh was lost in the wind as they sped down the track, just behind Patrick and Liam.

He at least surged ahead that he was no longer 'necking' with anyone. The heat that had started up his neck was slowly subsiding.

Brow quirked, she looked back to Segan and laughed. "Not at all. I was thinking maybe I'd save some apple from my breakfast for him for his efforts."

"Liam has passed out Patrick by a nose. Claire  is keeping her third place with Rhett, Gemma then Vanessa and lastly Segan as they head for the finish line."

"C'mon Red, I'll let you out for studding if you can pass just Tennison out!" He was getting desperate as he thought of the one thing a male liked best.

Claire chuckled, tightening her hands on the reins. Third for her first race? Not bad...but she continued to encourage the mare to find more strength. "Go, go, go!"

He was barely ahead of Gemma as he could sense her horse on his heels and so kept his horse going with encouragements of treats.

Vanessa laughed hearing Segan and leaned down closer to Tennison. "Come on, Tennie. It's not that far now!"

He was surprised he passed Patrick out but many of them were so close it was anyone's race in the long run. Well, maybe not for Segan! He would tease his cousin later.

"Patrick has passed Liam out to take the Win. Liam dropped back to Place and Claire to Show. In fourth we have Vanessa, fifth is Rhett, Sixth is Gemma and last but not least is Segan. I think he needs to stop trying to race Big Red!" He read a note left there from Patrick. "There will be a purse given the others for participation of 200 coins each."

She chuckled as she slowed t Grainned down, walking her to allow her to cool. "Well, you're still a fine looking lass." She assured as she patted the horse's neck. Next for her, would be talking to Gran about some cooking lessons as soon as possible.

She could maybe boil an egg in that water!

Patrick soon dismounted, "thank you all for participating, your prizes will be delivered promptly." Usually within a couple days. "If you will excuse me, I have a few things to attend to. Claire, a really nice surprise seeing you back and I'm sure I'll see you about again fate willing." He was handing his horse off to one of the stable lads before heading back up to the tower to get all his papers to see to the stats.

"Good to see you again Patrick," waving as the man took off. Busy man.

"G'night, Patrick." They still needed to go on a sleigh ride but she'd remind him another time.

Claire and Little Lady raced across the finish line in third place. Not bad at all. Smiling from ear to ear, Claire slowed the mare down to a halt and dismounted, giving her a quick rub down as she sang her praises. "Thank you, Patrick. Congratulations on your win and I do hope to see you soon. Good night!" She lifted a hand in a wave before he took off and then loosed a sigh. That was fun!
He still owed Gemma a lost bet which he would need to see to soon! He was a busy man but he didn't forget nor renege on a bet.

He dismounted Big Red and assured him of one thing, "I'll not race you again although if I had to lose it could not have been a more worthy opponent." Leading Red to walk over with him to Vanessa, "good night Patrick, see you again soon." At least next month if he made it to the races again. This was where he and Vanessa kind of got their start now that he reflected back. He usually lost to her.. think it was planned?

"And let me know when you're free for breakfast and what you would like!" Eep! Nearly forgot that. And Rhett would be getting his coins delivered tomorrow. She'd write a thank you for the coins.

He was over to where Vanessa and Segan were standing, or sitting on their horse. "Would Karina be at home?" If she was there, he might stop by and say hello. Waving to Patrick as he took his leave. "Congratulations and good evening... and thanks.." for the 200 coins but didn't actually say it.

Was it planned? Sneaky. A wave given to Patrick. "Good night!" She smiled to Segan as she came down from Tennison's back. "That was fun. As it always is."

"Congratulations to you all, I'm off to find my brothers and maybe stop at the tavern." Before it got too late. Waving he was over to mount the borrowed horse from the manor and soon riding off.

Of course he wouldn't but she understood about busy. "Good night, Liam." That was a surprise. "Good night everyone. I'm heading back to Heathfield and the manor." She planned to be up at sunrise.

"I think she is still home but she may be in bed by now." Giving Rhett a smile as certainly the lad could stop by and see if she was still up or not. "If she is up, let her know we'll be back in a bit."

Giving a nod to Segan's words before he was mounting up his own horse brought and waving to the others. "Have a good night." Then he was riding off like demons nipping at his heels.

"Yes, congratulations to you all as well. A job well done!" With a smile, she shook out her skirts and prepared to leave as well. "Night!"

She smiled to Rhett. "She was home last I saw." She couldn't imagine anywhere Karina would go in the cold without reason. Seeing him gone, she looked back to Segan. "So, shall we ride to the tavern or are we calling it a night?"

"We can ride to the tavern. Do you need a ride Claire?" Not being sure of her transportation he would offer.


"I would be grateful, Segan, thank you very much." She dipped her head in thanks as she was still getting her affairs in order.

Not sure Vanessa had met Claire. A hand offered to the woman. "I'm Vanessa. You did quite well with the race."

While they greeted, he saw to tying the two horses to the back of the carriage then holding the door open for them in wait.

Claire took her hand in hers and smiled warmly. "I am Claire. A pleasure." She chuckled softly. "Thank you, I do so love riding. Everyone did exceptionally well tonight. Hard to predict who would have won!"

"It's always a guess, and a colorful race." Releasing the woman's hand, she waited for Claire to enter the carriage first. "It's nice to meet you as well, Claire. Are you from Heathfield?" Or possibly one of the surrounding areas.

As gracefully as possible, Claire took a hold of her skirts and hauled herself into the carriage. "I have a history of moving, one could say. But a few years ago, I had been settled quite comfortably here, yes. Do you take residence here, Vanessa?"

Vanessa was behind Claire into the carriage with a smile to Segan, then seated herself with a nod. "Aye. I do. I have a small cottage just outside the square. Have you come to visit family?"

Segan had one of those grins as the two ladies talked while seeing both within then himself to follow. Settling next to Vanessa before he tapped the back of the carriage to alert the driver to head out.


-continued in the Thistle-

Date: 03-31-10
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 32

March Races

The night was perfect for the races as Patrick invited Gemma to the Tower with him if she would like to watch them from there .. and.. keep him company even if most concentration would be on announcing the races.

Segan was here and had hoped Vanessa could make it, having left her a note where he would be. Grandmama willing to take care of the little one even though she had been fussing he was told, probably teething. So he was down at the stable talking with the jockey as Fandango would be in the first race.

Of course she accepted. And she'd watch them as quietly as possible, though that might not be easy for her to do.

Rhett swung by the Cottage to see if Karina would like to join him to the races. He had still to convince her to buy one of the race horses up for sale, the longer she waited the more expensive they would be .. 500 plus what they had won so far as that was only fair to the stable selling them. He had an open surrey to take them there in.

The first race featured Circe, Snake Bite, Nymph, Farasha, Thunder, Royal Pride, Leviathan, Red Knight, Fandango and Patience.  When it was finished,  Circe took the Win, Thunder to Place and Patience to Show.

Karina always tried to make it to the races, enjoying the excitement of the events, especially when she had bets placed. Which she usually did. She waved to Rhett when he came up, ran back inside to grab a light coat against the lingering chill and just as quickly was back out. Light steps bringing her up and into the surrey that would take them off to the races.

He saw her within before they were off, running a little late, the first race just started as he pulled the surrey into a parking spot. Out he went, grabbing one of the blankets with him before seeing her out and up to the stands. There were others around he knew but were they sat they were pretty much to themselves. He also had a flask of potcheen and one of cider to share.

The second race featured Shooting Star, Ma Petite, Nemain, Shaya, Skade, Maeldun, Magic Dust, Legacy, Siegfried, Golden Lady.  Skade to Win, Maeldun to Place and Siegfried to Show.

Karina hurried up into the stands with Rhett, settling in as the races continue. She could hear Patrick's voice announcing from the Tower but her attention was on the horses. She'd share the potcheen and blanket with Rhett, the latter making it easier to snuggle a bit next to him.

Race 3 featured  Nutmeg, Justy, Seanchai, Galahad, Renegade, Milkmaid, Paddy's Lad, Solid Rock, Smoky Trails, Kestral.  Renegade to Win, Nutmeg to Place and Justy to Show.

Race 4  featured  Lavender, Cottage Rose, Kenchi, Opal, Amber Dancer, Lugh, Lacey, Artemisia, Roxanne, Song of Eire. Lacey to Win, Lugh to Place and Opal to Show.

He leaned in with a nudge, "my horse is up in this race, I can hope he does well. Beowulf."

She glanced to Rhett and then back down at the ring, hollering out, "GO BEOWULF!"

Race 5 featured Lil Darlin, Blackbird, Gypsy Prince, Themis, Grimhild, Cream Sugar, Ala al Din, Beowulf, Lightning, Peppermint.  Ala al Din to Win, Grimhild to Place and Themis to Show.

Race 6 featured Macha, Rip Roaring, Joker's Wild, Dapper Dan, White Satin, Harvest Gold, Arion, Altair, Huckleberry, Rag Doll. White Satin to Win, Rip Roaring to Place and Macha to Show.

Race 7 featured Gold Dust, Windchaser, Abacus, Aphrodite, Princess, Irish Outlaw, Fairuzhd, Charlie, Avatar, Ash Stone
.   Abacus to Win, Ash Stone to Place and Avatar to Show.

"That concludes our registered races, anyone wishing to participate in the Hometown race, let George know." Which he glanced to Gemma, "willing to bet in beating me or not?"

Segan would race as he was over to let George know. Although he would not be riding Big Red in these anymore, instead he picked Little Lady to ride.

"My horse didn't come in but certainly came up a long distance from behind. Maybe I can beat you in this race? Perhaps a bet...?"

"I'm willing to try again." She grinned at him and would try Sassy Sally tonight instead of her own horse.

"Aye, and he's a beauty at least," she said to mollify Rhett. Then a little smirk began as he proposed a bet. "I'd like to ride. What sort of bet?...."

"I will ride Grainne from our stables then. Would you like to make a bet?"

"I'll ride Satyr, you want to ride Dandelion, Ole Seadog or Thunder Thighs?" Grinning with the last. "...or Prancer," almost missing that one on the list.

"Hmm. How about another picnic but this one down at the lake." She laughed as she added "and I'll take care of the food." She wouldn't cook it but would get Herself to!

The name was too good to resist. "Think I'll ride Thunder Thighs." She flashed a grin as she untucked herself from the blanket in preparation to go get ready to race. Though she did quirk a brow at Rhett over her shoulder. "And just what were you wantin' to bet hm?"

"You still owe me a breakfast, so maybe something different than food." Which had him pause a bit, "would you be opposed to a kiss as the bet, on the lips? If I win you have to kiss me, if I lose, I kiss you." Which he couldn't lose with that deal!

He was up with her, "I was thinking maybe you can offer the bet this time," he had wagered the others when they had bet in the past.

"Aye, I do, don't I?" Pretending she had forgot, but she had been having lessons. "We'll do that next week. A kiss could work." She glanced to see if Segan was listening.

Nod nod nod, he heard it all!

Oh boy. She was in for some teasing, wasn't she?

Stanley was up in the Tower at the megaphone, "we have at Gate One, Segan Quinn riding Little Lady, Gate Two Gemma Quinn riding Sassy Sally, Gate Three Patrick Frasier on Grainne, Gate Four, Karina on Thunder Thighs and Gate Five Rhett Shawnesey on Satyr. The race will begin in a few moments, once they are done deciding who is going to kiss who..." they could hear the snicker from Stan.

He only needed to drop that bit of information in Grandmama's lap.

She wasn't losing either except for the teasing part. "Done." A nod given as she waited for the race to start. She'd get Stan later.

Hmm. That was going to be a tough one... what did she want to wager? She thought about it as she went to get her horse. "Alright, I have it. If I win, I get to pick a dare for you, and you have to do it. If you win... you get to pick a dare for me." Could be risky but that was half the fun of it! She cast him a mischievous glance as she settled on her horse in the gate beside Rhett's.

He eyed her speculatively, something not concrete was not a good bet to go there. Why they usually bantered it out so they were comfortable with it. "You'd probably want me to eat worms or something like that. How about, the loser has to wait on the other for two hours, fetching them this or that, feeding them grapes or mucking out bird poop if you win..nothing harmful nor degrading, like I'd not ask you to take off your clothes..." and he was watching her reaction even with putting that out there as an example.

Could anyone hear the snickering coming from Gate One?

She let out a snicker at the comment of eating worms, because chances were, her dare probably WOULD have been something crazy like that! She put on a considering air as he proposed his own idea. Then eyed him at the clothes comment. "You wouldn't, eh?" A sharp glance over to Gate One, yes, she could hear him! And back to Rhett with a little grin. "Alright, the loser has to be the winner's humble servant for two hours."

Better late than never?! Well...debatable. Regardless, Vanessa arrived in time for the Hometown race and was approaching with Tennison.

Stanley stalled as there seemed to be a late comer, "hurry lass, get the lead out, they haven't opened the gates yet. They're trying to decide who is whose servant and who kisses who tonight."

"I'm coming!" Laughing, she mounted Tennison and headed over to the gates!

That's when Segan yelled out, "GEMMA'S GONNA TREE PATRICK .. KISSING ..."  Grandmama may have heard him all the way back in Heathfield.

She looked at Segan puzzled. "Gemma gonna tree Patrick?"

"Gemma is doing what to Patrick?"

"In Gate Six we have Vanessa Baltimore riding Tennison."

Gemma was going to beat Segan, that's what Gemma was going to do.

After she gets done tree'ing Patrick.

"Only if I get her up in the tree first," retorted back to the tease. He'd go along with it and was actually looking forward to winning or losing.

"Vanessa, do you wish to make a bet?" Being Stanley was giving them a few minutes to do so. He called across all 4 stalls between.

"Patrick...that sounded very wrong." She leaned back to look across to Segan with a smile. "Did you have anything specific in mind?"

"Make him wait on you hand and foot for two hours too. It may not include undressing but it can include kissing on demand!"

"I already get those on demand." She beamed a smile, laughing quietly.

"Works both ways, if I win she waits on me..." grinning with her comment.

"Fair enough." She looked back to Segan. "I'm not doing your laundry though."

"Sheeeesh," in a humorous way, "can't get my laundry done anywhere but kissing by demand, that's all right!"

"Make him muck out the bird cages, he's gotten good at it." She called over to Vanessa, giving Segan a wicked grin. That had been his penalty for losing against her in the last Hometowns!

"Get ready folks as in 1.... 2..... 3...." and the flag went down by George as the gates went up. "We have shooting out of the gates.. Segan leading at a fast pace, Rhett right behind him, Vanessa not far and Gemma and Karina necking for last spot."  Now that sounded wrong!

Yeah, she liked Gemma and all, but...... No.

Vanessa laughed, then Tennison was out and off! She looked at Gemma and Karina. "Shame!"

He let out a WHOOOOOOOOOOOP.. it was rare he was ever in the lead.

They might all have to get Stan for this.

He was laughing so much he near slipped off his saddle but corrected that real quick.

"Oh, and Patrick is Just behind Vanessa, probably for the view." Stan was going to get everyone in trouble. "Nice for him to forget I'm in this race!" He could get even with Stan!

Which had Karina laughing at Rhett.... or with him rather as he almost fell right off the horse! She held on for dear life and leaned low to urge her horse on.

Vanessa was too busy laughing to take the race seriously. Tennison was trying though! "Catch up to Segan and I will get you a girlfriend!"

"Rhett is now in the lead with Segan behind him, Patrick is necking with Karina with Gemma just behind them and lastly but not least, Vanessa."

Which he yelled back, "don't catch up and I'll find you a harem!"

"Hey, that's my girl," whoops! Leaning low behind the horse as he was laughing too much.

Karina turned crimson with pleasure at being called that.... but luckily they were all moving fast enough to hide it! A smirk was given to Patrick as she tried to urge her horse past... no necking for him!

"We have Segan in the lead with Patrick just behind, Gemma has moved up to third place, then Karina, Rhett and Vanessa."

He needed to stop laughing so much as he made promises to Satyr of a finely made bit that would not hurt his mouth and extra apples. He needed to beat Karina, nothing else!

"You're not trying very hard tonight, Tennison!" Giving him a light pat and continued the race. "Girlfriend of your choice, Tenni!"

"Gemma," called out wondering how close she was behind him.

"I'm catching up!" She was promising Sally apples for treats.

Karina was just enjoying the ride, the flexing of powerful muscle beneath her and the wind on her face... it was always a thrill.

"We have Patrick in the lead with Gemma right behind, Segan next, Karina, Vanessa and Rhett dropping to last place."  Which he noted the positions, "heading to the finish line. Who will win their bets??" It was very close.

"Come on, Ten! You're so close!"

"Come on Satyr, just pass that lass out riding Thunder Thighs!"

"We have Gemma coming up to take the Win, Karina from behind to Place and Patrick to Show. Vanessa then Segan.. then Rhett."

Much as she was enjoying the ride.... the sight of the finish line called out that competitive side of her... so she leaned down close to Thunder's neck and whispered encouragements... which apparently was all the ole girl  needed! With a burst of speed she went sailing over the line after Gemma. "WOO!"

"There will be a consolation prize of 200 coins each for the ones finishing up tonight."

She was startled when Sassy suddenly pulled ahead but laughed. "Good lass! Carrots, apples and sugar cubes every day for the next month." Poor horse might be out of shape by then.

Vanessa looked at Segan and laughed, then looked down to Tennison. "I owe you a lady friend, Tennison. We will go pick one for you sometime soon."

He may have lost the bet, but he didn't come in last for a change!

He was shaking his head, "get her into a competition and I'll be lucky to beat her except for wrestling in the mud." Which reminded him of the pig wrestling contest they once had.

She heard that. "I'd beat you in mud wrestling too." A broad smirk as she patted Thunder appreciatively and praised her.

"Now that you wont," if he was any man at all, he could at least beat her there unless he let her win on purpose.

Karina said nothing but she did have a sly look about her.... for the debate gave her an idea....

She was chuckling as she walked the horse to cool her down, then dismounted and handed her over to the stable boy. Treats would be delivered tomorrow.



Date: 04-28-10
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 33

April Races

It was a warm night with the usual townsfolk to show especially from Ballicastle. Patrick had taken the megaphone down into the stands to join the others for a change. Faelan and Gemma sitting with him. "For the first Race: Magic Dust, Harvest Gold, Roxanne, Artemisia, Ash Stone, Renegade, Abacus, Lavender, Cream Sugar, Irish Outlaw. And we have an upset coming into the finish line with Roxanne coming up from behind to take the win. Ash Stone to Place and Magic Dust to Show."

"For the Second race we have starting from Gate One on down, Charlie, Joker's Wild, Lil Darling, Gold Dust, Macha, Kenchi, Patience, Peppermint, Rip Roaring and Lacey." Which he waited for George to bring down the red flag once they were ready and his crew off the track after cleaning it up as needed. The flag went down as the gates opened up, "and theeeeeeeeeey're off! It seems to be either a fast or slow start for the majority, Joker's Wild leading, Gold Dust right behind with Kenchi and Patience nose to nose. Joker's Wild is keeping the lead with Patience moving up in second spot, Gold Dust in third."

Faelan was looking for his ticket of all the horses he bet on. He even stood up as he finally found it flattened away in his back pocket. Now to uncrumple it as he sat again. "Did you make any bets, Gemma?"

"Patience has moved up to take the lead, Joker's Wild dropping back to second with Gold Dust still in third spot."

"Aye, I did." She grinned at him and shrugged, "but as usual I forgot the ticket." She was writing down the winners however.

"Patience, Joker's Wild, Gold Dust heading for the finish line.  And we have an upset coming into the finish line with Roxanne coming up from behind to take the win. Ash Stone to Place and Magic Dust to Show."

"I've had a horse come in both races, although only one I should make some money."

"For our third race tonight, starting at Gate One on down, Altair, Aphrodite, Leviathan, Amber Dander, Blackbird, White Satin, Windchaser, Dapper Dan, Gypsy Prince, Fairuzhd."  He was watching for the flagman as he nudged Gemma with his shoulder and a goofy grin to come lopsided hearing she forgot her ticket! The flag went down as he called out, "and they're off!"

She hadn't so much as bet a single race. It was perhaps because her experience with gambling hadn't been a good one but she wanted to see the horses. Dressed as conservatively as ever, she wore the buttercup colored skirt and bodice well and the vibrant green embroidery on the chemise helped to accentuate her eyes. If she gave a minute to realize that. But nope, she was glued to the race and happily looking about.

It was close to determine the horses in the lead but it was predicted as best one could tell, "we have Aphrodite and Dapper Dan nose to nose in the lead. Altair and Blackbird also nose to nose in second spot. Aphrodite pulls to the lead with Amber Dancer coming up to claim second spot, Blackbird and Windchaser nose to nose for third spot. This is the type of race for upsets."

"It's good you're winning." She thought any money won was a good thing. Patrick had her laughing with the nudge and she winked at him.

"Windchaser has pulled up from behind to take the lead, Aphrodite dropping back to second spot with White Satin to come up nose to nose. White Satin has now moved up to first place with Windchaser falling back to second and Leviathan has pulled up from behind into third place as they head for the finish line."

She wouldn't have had any idea as to who to pick even if she had placed a bet or two. It was all just so new to her that she smiled from ear to ear while listening to the people cheering on their favorites. Tickets would be ripped or hoisted depending on the win or loss, but to Bea it was all about the sheer excitement of it all.

"Aphrodite takes the Win, coming up from behind again. Windchaser keeping second spot to place and Fairuzhd coming way up from behind for Show."

"Another one to come in," he wasn't doing so bad. Noticing Bea at the fence he gave a wave if she saw him and gesture to come join them in the bleachers if she wanted. Some liked to watch from the fence.

"For our Fourth Race we have starting from Gate One on down: Seanchai, Shaya, Beowulf, Lugh, Circe, Royal Pride, Huckleberry, Rag Doll, Avatar and Thunder."


Beatrice being the social person she was saw Faelan among some others in the bleachers and with an upraised arm waved before making her way toward them. "Afternoon Faelan! It's wonderful! Truly exhilarating." Humming right along to herself, Bea settled herself near them to eagerly watch the next race. "Good afternoon to you." She said to the others there, whom she hadn't met.

"Evening Beatrice, please to meet Gemma Quinn, one of Segan's sisters. Patrick Frasier of the esteem Frasier family." Which if she started to meet them there were quite a few. "Aye, did yea bet at all to make it even more exciting?"

"Pleasure, Beatrice," Frasier green eyes turned upon her with a warm smile before he had the megaphone up to his lips again as George was ready out in the field, the flag going down. "And they're  off! We have Avatar out of the gate to lead the others, Huckleberry not far behind and Lugh in third spot."

"I hadn't yet met either but it is indeed a pleasure to meet you both!" She was like bottled sunshine pouring out a smile as she looked between them. "I have met your brother, Miss Gemma. He is very nice." Turning her eyes away she watched as they leapt from the gate, all but jittering herself at those long legs and regal heads.

"We have a three way tie taking place, Shaya coming up from behind, Huckleberry and Thunder then Avatar."

"Well met, Beatrice." She smiled at the young woman. "Thank you. I'll be sure to tell him."

"Huckleberry has moved ahead to take the lead, Shaya falling back to second with Lugh and Royal Pride nose to nose for third spot. Huckleberry is keeping the lead with Thunder to come up from behind into second spot, Lugh in third, there could be an upset in this race too as they head for the finish line. Huckleberry takes the Win with Thunder to Place and Royal Pride to Show."

She didn't answer his question but she seemed so excited she probably missed it. He noticed she didn't have any ticket in her hand of horses bet on which one would have if they placed bets. Another horse came in, one each race so far, all it took to make a few coins besides having fun.

"I hadn't bet, no." She hadn't missed his question and felt stupid for not answering right away. Bea could get caught up with things sometimes, missing out on others whenever she did so. "I did want to see the horses running though.  They are so beautiful!"

"For our Fifth Race, we have starting at Gate One on down: Lightning, Opal, Red Knight, Solid Rock, Milkmaid, Kestrel, Legacy, Galahad, Siegfried and Princess."

"Let's do an experiment. Pick four of the horses up as if you bet on them and see how you do."

"Um, I like ... Siegfried since he's yours. Then Solid Rock, Milkmaid and Kestrel." She had no idea what a Kestrel was but the name sounded wonderful to her so she went with it.

"Good choices, now watch as they run. If one of them comes in, you would have made some money."

He was half listening to the conversation as he watched for the cue from George, the flag went down, the gates up and the horses pounding turf, "and they're off! Galahad heads them out of the gates with Lightning and Red Knight nose to nose right behind. Galahad is keeping the lead with Red Knight and Milkmaid nose to nose."

"Galahad is one of the horses for sale under Patrick Frasier. Red Knight belongs to Joshua McDonough and Lightning to Brogan Frasier." Giving her a little insight of those three in the lead.

"Galahad. What a fine name for a horse." It suited Bea's romantic nature, and she watched after him closely. "My Petunia is so old compared to these horses. But then she was old when I was little." The sway backed mare had gotten her to Heathfield though hadn't she?

Better late than never? Maggie had heard of the races and what fun they could be, belatedly. Hastening to finish up chores at the Thistle, she slipped into the stands, sliding past others until finding a vacant seat on the bleachers. Smiles and waves were given in greeting to those she recognized before settling herself in a space and looking down to the racetrack with interest. She was a spot of deep russet amongst the crowd, her dress of that color and her dark reddish hair held back in a half-up bun. She clapped as the next race began.

Kestrel has come up from behind to take the lead, Red Knight in second nose to nose with Princess. Lightning and Galahad nose to nose behind them," announcing more just to show how close these horses were racing.

They were late but late was better than never at all! With Karina in tow as it was a good night to get out to the races. "Think of a good bet for the Hometown race," said with a grin as they headed for the bleachers where everyone else was.

"Princess and Milkmaid are tied for the lead. Kestral right behind with everyone else right behind Kestral, it is that close of a race as they head for the finish line." Upsets to be expected!

Tagging along at Rhett's side, she sidled into the bleachers to sit alongside him. His words had a grin playing on her lips as she leaned in closer to mutter her reply. "I rather like how the last one turned out." Then leaning away ever so innocently as she started clapping and cheering for the horses now neck and neck.

Seeing Maggie, Bea's hand shot into the air and she waved happily. "Maggie!" It was great to see someone else she knew at the races. She was hopeful though that one of the horses she'd picked won.

"Milkmaid takes the Win with Siegfried coming up from behind to Place and Galahad making a comeback to Show." Indeed there were two upsets!

"Siegfried!" Jumping up from his seat while he waved his ticket. He had hoped but certainly it came unexpected.

Blinking wide, she looked at Faelan with a huge beam of a grin. "I would have won! Did you see that?!? I would have won!" Maybe there wasn't anything to this selecting of the horses for bets.

Blink, she heard her name. Sitting up a bit straighter to see atop the heads of the crowd, she saw Bea waving and returned the favor with a smile. Faelan, too got a wave and dimple of her cheeks as she noted him sitting there, obviously not yet departed for his journey.

"You would have had two horses come in, and quite a bit of winnings." Finally seating himself. "Hello Maggie, Rhett, Karina.."

"Then that should be the bet again. Make it one hour to wait on the other." Perhaps a shorter time would work out better. "Good evening Patrick, Maggie, Beatrice, Gemma and Patrick." Greeting them all as they found seats near the others.

"Hello Rhett, Karina. How are your gloves working out for you?" Now that they actually fit and all! Nodding at Faelan, she felt a warm glow that comes with the idea of having done something right. "Maybe next time I'll actually bet. I mean, it's not like I'm rolling dice in a hall with a bunch of drunken knights." Which gave her a dark moment but it past quickly enough.

Nudging Gemma a moment wondering if she dazed out. "Good evening Rhett, Karina and you must be Maggie. Welcome to the Falkirk Races." Although he needed to announce the next lineup so started off. "For our Sixth race tonight we have starting from Gate One on down: Skade, Shooting Star, Fandango, Golden Lady, Smoky Trails, Paddy's Lad, Cottage Rose, Justy, Snake Bite and Themis."

Karina arched her brows at Rhett, but she would be good and not say another word! Instead just allowed herself a grin and a nod of agreement. Following Rhett's gaze she nodded her greetings to everyone... Quinns, Frasiers and Callihans alike! Bea too as she replied, "They fit just dandy, thanks again." A wave to Bea before she turned attention back to the races.

"Beatrice pick four of those and see how you do this race."

She was just watching the horses, though she smiled at Patrick then waved at the others, her attention going back to the race.

Maggie was busy and smiling and nodding to all the familiar faces... this event was already proving a good time, a chance to see and socialize with friends outside the tavern walls. Hearing an unknown voice she glanced up, lifting her hand to greet the man who welcomed her. "Thank you!" Called out before he began his announcing. A nudge to Bea, "Who is that?" The man who was announcing, she meant.

"Okay!" She was really getting into this now. "Um, how about ... Paddy's Lad, Justy, Themis and ... Skade." For some reason that name sounded interesting to her. "Wonderful, Karina." Turning then, she waited for the race to start.

Big smile seeing Maggie with a good looking over. Low whistle under his breath, "definitely fit and hale from the first I laid eyes on you." He had to carry her remembering correctly. Callihans of any spelling were of a hearty stock to bounce back and bounced back exceedingly well she did.

She laughed a little at Faelan's words but answered Maggie with a lowered voice at the nudge. "That is Mister Patrick Frasier. He seems very nice." Everyone to her had seemed very nice and easy to be around. Except for a few Colonial braves. They had been a little on the intimidating side for Bea.

"Skade was a Norse warrioress goddess good with the bow and arrow especially."

Indeed she had bounced back, and not only was she a strong sort, but also good at hiding the pangs in her head that often plagued her. Even now it was a dull ache that she had learned to ignore. No sense in letting it ruin her everyday enjoyments. Leaning in to catch Bea's words, she nodded. "I've heard that family name before... they do seem a nice lot."

"Really? I didn't know that! rather like Artemis of Greece." Bea new some things, but there certainly were holes in her education having left the classroom when it was apparent that the other children enjoyed picking on her.

He offered the megaphone to Gemma, "want to announce them this time?"

She shook her head no at the offer, eyes going wide. "No! I'd mess up them up something awful."

Here he thought it would be something she liked. Giving a nod but he couldn't help but be a little disappointed though he didn't show it. George was bringing down the flag as he spoke into the megaphone, "and they're off!" Gates up and the horse shooting out of them.  "Skade takes the lead out of the gates with Thesis and Golden Lady close behind. Skade is keeping that lead with Golden Lady and Paddy's Lad close behind."

"Did you bet on these races?" She asked Rhett over the sound of the megaphone, cheers and horse hooves. "I did. I bet on your Beowulf, wonder if he's raced yet?" She wasn't sure just where they had come in.

"They have one of the stables, I believe." Bea had been too deluged with names of families and who was related to who that she sometimes got a little confused. But she made up for it with a bright smile and enthusiasm. As the horses leapt, so did Bea, right to her feet to cheer!

"Skade is still in the lead with Fandango moving to second spot, Themis in third. Skade is way out in front it would be a miracle for any of the others to catch up. Themis then Paddy's Lad where those holdings could be upset easier as they head for the finish line."

"Yes I did, not sure how I am doing for we missed most of them." He was enjoying watching no matter.

Maggie nodded; she'd heard the Frasier name associated with the races. When the horses took off, she laughed a bit when Bea leapt to her feet like a filly. And stood as well for a better view. Perhaps next time she'd place a few bets as well... and so she would watch these horses for a better idea of whom to bet on.

"Skade takes the Win, Golden Lady coming up from behind to Place as well Fandango coming back up to Show."

"One of the ones you picked came in first!" Bea would be a natural at betting. "Pick four more when they announce the last race. Skade was one I picked too," so yet another horse came in, one for each race.

"Hey, I think I bet on Fandango!" A light nudge to Rhett with her elbow before clapping. Then it was time to await the next race and she slipped her arm through Rhett's in the meanwhile. Why not? It was crowded and nobody noticed, and besides, at the moment she didn't much care.

"Fandango is Segan's horse."

"Is he? Blast, I should've known better then," good natured of course! She had to jibe Segan every chance she got.

"She won! Skade won!" Bea hopped up and down, clapping as the winners were announced. "I can't believe that Faelan. Did you see her run? She was beautiful!" Not that Petunia hadn't been a beauty in her prime either.

He began to wonder if Gemma was feeling all right. A glance her way before he started to announce the next and last race. "For the final race tonight we have starting at Gate One on down: Farasha, Nemain, Nutmeg, Song of Eire, Maeldun, Grimhild, Ma Petite, Arion, Ala al Din and Nymph." He was keeping an eye on George too.

"The others were close in a cluster but Skade was way out in front none could touch her." Which was usually not the case.

Bobbing from foot to foot, she eagerly listened to the names. "It was wonderful! Okay. This time let's go with,"trying to hold in her excitement nearly toppled her over! "Nemain, Ala al Din, Nymph and Nutmeg" What a great name!

It was far better for Karina to jibe Segan when he was near than when he was not. The two like siblings so he had noticed.

As the flag went down he called out, "and they're off!" gates lifting and horses shooting out of them. "Arion takes the lead out of the gates with Nemain then Farasha, Grimhild and Ma Petite nose to nose."

"You are having quite a bite of luck," she observed to Bea with an easy smile. Soft laugh to herself at the woman's enthusiasm, she herself regained her seat and was content to sit and watch the rest.


"I am never lucky, so this is exciting." Next time, she was seriously going to place some bets. Maybe she was a little more lucky now that she was in Heathfield. "Isn't it wonderful?" She grabbed Maggie's hand, unable to help herself. Someone needed to rope Bea in!

Gemma was fighting a headache, and it seemed to be winning but she at least wanted to remain until the final race.

"Arion is keeping the lead and getting further from the others. Farasha and Nemain in second spot nose to nose with Ma Petite close behind. Arion is still in the lead with Farasha in second spot gaining on Arion. Grimhild moves into third spot. Arion still leading by a good distance with Farasha in second spot, Nymph has moved up into third as they head for the finish line."



Date: 04-28-10
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 34

"Wonderful," she echoed Bea as the race finished up, leaning forward to see the results with a squeeze of Bea's hand.

"Arion takes the Win with Farasha to Place and Nymph to Show." A concern look upon Gemma, "will you be up to racing me in the Hometown coming up?" More a bet to make if she was up to it. Although he needed to announce, "anyone wishing to join in the Hometown race, see George down by the gates. If you don't have a horse there are eight available to ride: Thunder Thighs and Prancer from the McDonough Stables. Little Lady and Satyr from the Barrett Stables. Sassy Sally and Dandelion from Golden Dawn Stables and Ole Seadog and Grainne from the Frasier Stables."

"I got another!" It was so strange for Bea to even near close to having chosen a winner, let alone for one of her choices to place in every race! "Next time, I am going to bet. How about you Maggie?" This wasn't like the gambling she was used to at all!

"That's us," a pat to Rhett's knee to get his attention before threading her way down the bleachers to register for the Hometown. She'd greet George and decided to ride Thunder Thighs, a mare who had done well for her before...  plus she just liked the name!

"I can race." She gave him another smile. "Though I have no idea what to bet." At least Segan wasn't here this time to tease.

He was up and down to race, "I'll ride Satyr this race."

"I was thinking I might." Maggie returned Bea's smile though hers was just a tad pinched. Another squeeze to Bea's hand and she was rising and lifting her skirts. "I'll be getting back to the Tavern now. Congratulations Bea, and good to see you Faelan." That same smile once more and then she'd be making her way out.

"We had breakfast," leaving out the kissing bet as not to embarrass her, "how about I gift you with a finely crafted hunting knife or sword?" Not being sure what she might need but knew she trained to be a warrior. He would ride Grainne from his stables.

"Are we going with the same bet as before... or did you think of something new?" A curious glance to Rhett as she got Thunder Thighs ready and waited for their starting places to be announced.

"I'll catch you there soon. And thanks!" Curious about the pinched look, she figured she would have more of an opportunity to ask after it later. Bea didn't have enough dexterity to ride the way these other riders did. Petunia kinda plodded along which was just fine with Bea. More than likely if she tried, she'd break her ever loving neck.

"C'mon you two, you have to do the Hometown race if you come at all. I'll bet to beat either of you no matter who wins the race. I will give you a choice between a kiss and a small dagger." Grinning like the devil between Maggie and Bea. "Choice can be made later privately so no one knows if you preferred the kiss or the dagger." Wagging his eyebrows as he headed down to the gates. Well, so much for Maggie taking part in the bet as he yelled after her.. "CHICKEN!"

"All right." She decided on Little Lady as she pondered a bet. "And what if I give you a bow and arrows, that is, if you hunt?" Her smile turned impish. "Otherwise, a box of expensive cigars from the Export store."

Catching Faelan's words on her way out, she gave a little laugh and waved him off. "Not tonight, though perhaps another time. Bea looks like she might be interested though," and she scuttled out of there before any more words could be exchanged! Ahhh must he yell? Away from the roar of the crowds she went.

"I don't do much hunting but how about one of those parrots for my son would love one."

"You mean, ride? Or do I just bet?" She wasn't really concentrating on what the winning item was, just the bet itself. She was hooked. Dun-dun-dun.  And it was Faelan's fault!

"You have to ride to bet little lady. How it is done, all you have to do is go across that line before I do to win what I suggested and offer up a counter bet in case I get across the line before you. There is also coins to the winners."

She may have paled a little but she nodded and kept the smile. "A parrot it is then. Shall we let him pick it out then?"

"Of course, are you afraid of birds?" That had him curious as he was up on Grainne and waiting in the gate.

"W-w-well. I don't ride that well." Maybe if she could just hang on very tightly she'd be alright? "I su-su-suppose I could offer to embroider one of your shirts or something. I don't have any daggers."

She mounted Little Lady then gave Patrick a thoughtful look. "Some. I avoid the bird they got Grandmother though it's not easy. But don't say anything?" She could just imagine the teasing from that.

"Do you get bird fever being around them?" Yes, there was such a thing and would have one avoiding them.

Clamoring down toward the horses, she was a little intimidated by how nice they were. She'd never ridden anything so powerful before. "You chose my mount then, Faelan. Maybe it will stand you in good stead." Which she hoped wasn't completely true but who knew!

"I'll ride Sassy Sally." For he would ride in the race to give it some competition for the others. He was tempted to have Ole Seadog but instead picked the flower for her, "Dandelion for Bea."

She shook her head, looking a little embarrassed. "When I was very young, I startled a mother raven and her babies and she chased me. I had nightmares for years about it." Which had her laughing. "Not a good thing when you're learning to be one with nature, is it?"

Being Patrick was going to ride, John took over with the megaphone in the Tower. "For our Hometown race we have in Gate One, Karina riding Thunder Thighs, Gate Two, Rhett riding Satyr. Gate Three, Patrick riding Grainne, Gate Four: Gemma riding Little Lady, Gate Five: Faelan riding Sassy Sally and Gate Six, Bea riding Dandelion."

"Dandelion it is!" She would find her mount and uneasily climb into the saddle. It was such a big horse! "J-ju-just you and me. Okay?" Giving the horses neck a firm pat, she tried to settle herself down. She'd just stick like glue to the horse and all would be well. She hoped.

"Aye, that would be an idea, embroider me a golden dragon on a black shirt if I win." That sounded real good to him. "So for you, dagger or a kiss at your preference should you win." He figured Bea would take the dagger wherein Maggie, she might have gone for the kiss. All in fun either way and good sport. He was ready.

"I'll let you chose." She wasn't any good at flirting and a little distracted at the moment while trying to handle her mount. Biting down on her lip, she set her heels and waited.

Of course she would have!

Rhett was listening and smirking to himself. It would be interesting which Bea would pick.

First time she'd ride in the innermost position! She gave a crooked grin when her name was announced, nudging Thunder with her knees up into the first gate. Settling her little self there on the saddle and sending a wink to Rhett in the gate beside her. "May the best woman win..." Notice she said woman and not man!

"Then I would say, Gemma, something you should work on to get past." For her own good that nothing should interfere with her being a knight. John watched for George as the red flag went down. "And they're off," gates opening and hopefully the horses out fast!  "We have Gemma out in the lead with Bea and Rhett nose to nose making out," yes.. they did some of it to embarrass all in good fun., "next is Faelan, while Karina and Patrick are making as Eskimos."

"C'mon Sassy, I want that dragon!" Although the view as nice!

She wondered if Patrick had any fears that he kept to himself but then they were out of the gate and Little Lady was in a hurry. "Don't wear yourself out, lass." She laughed as she spoke to the horse.

There was the pressed smile Bea's way as she was right across from him, their horses even.

What?! Automatic reaction had her standing high in the stirrups to see just what Bea and Rhett were up to! Then she was snickering at the joke, shouting to Patrick as he rode neck in neck, "Don't get any idears." Leaning lower over Thunder's neck, "C'mon darlin!"

"Sweet Christmas!" It was all she could shout as they went off with such a lurch that she thought her arms were going to come out of their sockets. Terrified but excited she grinned at Rhett while sitting down into the saddle.

Patrick was trying not to laugh as he gave a wink Karina's way, "I just need to beat her in the race so my son gets a bird." Pointing Gemma's way. John continued.  "They're all pretty close folks but Bea has moved a nose to the lead, Rhett right behind her keeping close, Gemma behind Rhett then Karina, Patrick and Faelan."

So his son gets a bird? She bit her tongue to refrain from dragging that comment into the gutter.. and concentrated on the race instead. Fingers curling in the horse's mane as Thunder Thighs... thundered on.

"C'mon Sassy! Shake your stuff and get us to that finish line on time, head of rest because you're the best!" Hooting out what sounded something like rhyme.

It felt like she was going to fall off, so she just tucked her legs a little tighter in. "Please don't let me die. Please don't let me die." She would have squeezed her eyes shut if she wasn't atop a horse.

He actually looked over his shoulder to stick out his tongue at Karina, he might be eating that gesture later if he lost but it was too much fun not to.

They were all having a grand time, weren't they? And she didn't mind in the least that Little Lady fell back.

"Some changes folks. Karina is necking with Patrick now for the lead. Faelan has moved up behind them, Gemma, Rhett and then Bea falling to last place." See, it was anyone's race.

"Waaaahoo!" If she recalled correct Thunder Thighs pulled this same stunt the last time she rode her, a sudden burst of speed at the end. Karina had been just as scared as Bea the first time but now, it was a thrill. She held on like a cocklebur and made a face at Patrick as she tried to urge the mare past his own horse.

Which had him laughing, "I might win that bird yet.." as he lowered against the horse's mane.

Maybe she had pinched her eyes shut a little. Okay, a lot. It was probably why the poor horse was slowed. She just wanted to make it to the end of the race in one piece.

Ah oh, was that thunder in his ears pounding behind him? He knew it would only urge Karina on to beat him in the race.

"Karina has moved to take the lead with Patrick in second spot, Gemma in third. Faelan next, Bea then Rhett falling to last as they head for the finish line. Will we have any upsets???"

"We have the results... Patrick surged ahead to Win, Karina kept second to Place and Faelan moved up to Show."

"Ah well, lassie, you did well and deserve a treat before I leave." She patted Little Lady's neck as she slowed the horse down to a walk.

She did her best and couldn't fault the horse. She had been scared out of her mind and for a minute there she had taken the lead. As they finally came to a stop, she breathed a happy sigh. "I didn't die." Patting the horse's neck weakly, she all but laid over its neck. "Thanks for not killing me. Um, maybe next time." If there was a next time.

"You did grand Beatrice but I can't say I'm sorry for beating you in the race. I'm partial to that idea of a gold embroidered dragon on my black dress shirt." Riding the horse a little longer before dismounting and walking until she cooled down.

He dismounted as he walked by Gemma, "you will come with us and watch?" It would be her first step hopefully in getting over any fears.

Karina had a grin splitting her features as she dismounted, giving Thunder Thighs an appreciative pat on the neck. She'd done well and had fun, but more importantly... had beat Rhett! And now wondered what might be in store.

Patrick got a nod as she dismounted. "Aye, I'll do that. But no laughing if I run away." She wouldn't but she could at least say she might.

"I look forward to doing so. I am sorry I did not win so you don't get to give me a kiss or a dagger." She was trying to be as bubbly as possible, sliding slowly from the horses back to walk her. It certainly had been a trip. Her hair was starting to peek out from the covering she usually wore, a kinky curl or two of dark brown. "That was, interesting." She wasn't a racer but she was trying to be on the bright side.

"So I shall wait upon you or do another afternoon as before." Which a pressed smile followed with blue eyes bright. Luckily he was better from the malady that had hold of him the other day.

"Well, the choice would be yours as set in the bargain, I'm tempted to ask what you'd choose but there is always next month as a lady doesn't give up many of her secrets easily."

"It'll be your choice this time." Karina returned Rhett's smile, eyes holding his brightly for the space of a few seconds before she got to work unsaddling Thunder.

"Well then, we shall see what the day brings first we can see to fulfilling the bet." Being both worked and a nicer day to wait for than one filled with thunder and rain.

"I suppose we won't know until the next race maybe." Bea shrugged a little then, helping with the tack of the horse before seeing to her own scraggly appearance.

"I'll look forward to it." Another crooked grin and then she was heading from the stables along with Rhett. "Feel like a quick drink at the Thistle?" She wondered if others would be heading there after the races.

"If you run away then I'll have to catch you and bring you back." Slow grin there as he handed the horse off to the stable hand to take care of from there.

"Aye, that's the fun of it, spirit of it too. You did very well for your first race." He was proud of her as a stable hand came to take his horse away with the others.

John gave the last announcement. "For the runner ups there is a consolation prize of 200 coins each. Thank you all for coming tonight and we hoped you enjoyed the time here making a few coins."

"Hmmm. I think Cian would enjoy that." Her grin grew wider. "Think you can catch me?"

"Aye, I'm not that old and over the hill." He got a lot of exercise and in top shape. Glancing down over her with a nod. "I could catch you if needed."

"Sounds like a good idea to me, give anyone else a lift there..." he had taken the surrey that seated six.

"You're not old at all." She decided then laughed. "Maybe we'll test that out sometime."

"So if only a test to see if I could over a need, does that mean I get to take you over my knee?" Obviously teasing her but there was a slight erotic undercurrent to it all.

It was a good suggestion so she lifted her voice to holler, "Anyone want a ride back to the Commons?" She had good lungs for being such a petite thing.

"It was quite fun. I am not certain if I will do it again, but maybe." Tucking hair here and there back where it belonged, she thought that it might be more fun to watch next time around. Her heart was pounding so hard she was surprised that everyone else couldn't hear it. "You'll have to drop the shirt off to me, so I can embroider what you've asked for." And she'd have to figure out what sort of dragon. Something fierce? And protective!

"Maybe." She gave him a look. "It would depend who was about to witness after all."

"Shall I see you home?" As his crew was seeing to cleaning up as well all the horses bedded down then their owners would see them back to their respective stables until next month. Some took them home. "Perhaps the whole town?" Which had him laughing with the visual that made!

"I've me horse but I'll ride aside your surrey," so he was mounting up Savvy and would head back with them.

She blinked then laughed as well. "I would like your company, but isn't it going out of your way a bit?" She was concerned about him traveling so far at this time of night and then returning to Falkirk.

"I've a couple cousins in Heathfield. Actually I'm going to stay with Brogan tonight in his Casino." So he would have one of his men bring around a horse figuring she rode in and if she had not, then a surrey.

Karina didn't hear a reply from anyone, so she looked to Rhett and shrugged. "Guess we have the surrey all to ourselves..." Which she didn't mind in the slightest!

Bea would figure she'd go ahead and wander back, maybe get lost in the process.

"Well, Faelan is going to ride alongside us." Seeing her into the Surrey. "Bea, you best come with us, it will take you days to get back to Heathfield on foot." Noticing she didn't have a horse.

"All right then." She had ridden her horse. "Shall we?" And she headed for the stables to retrieve her.

"Yeah, don't go getting lost," she called out to Bea and waved for her to come and join them in the surrey.

"Alright!" She happily joined them, figuring it was a little late to going and getting lost. "You know I found the lake the other day, but I lost a stocking." This to Karina as she settled down.

To which she looked at Bea quizzically. "How the heck did you lose one stocking?"

Once both were within, he started them off.

Bea blinked as if such things happened all the time, which of course they did. "I took my boots to wade in the water a little and one just well, wandered off." So like Bea!

"Maybe you need to start tying your belongings to your person... and never leave home without a map." She snickered, and off they went!

"That's a thought." And it certainly was as they went off!



Date: 07-27-10
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 35

July Hometown Race

Patrick handed over the megaphone to Wally to do the announcing. There was a lady he wanted a bet with and enter the race. Incentives. So he was down to where Gemma was seated with some others of which most had up and wandered down to see the horses and riders. "Care to enter the race?"

There was a foursome that came late, surrey with a fringe on the top. Rhett and Karina, Segan and Vanessa out for a late nite drive and realized the races were still going on. Well, almost. They had time to be in the bleachers.

Riding in the Hometown with Rhett had sort of become a tradition for them, and always with a bet to sweeten the bargain. Karina had been dandling Ysa on her knee but when the Hometowns were announced, she handed over the infant to Vanessa with a grin. "Wish me luck," then she was seizing Rhett's hand to drag him along. "C'mon."

"C'mon Rhett, win for us men for whatever you and Karina bet, we do as well." Giving a wicked glance to Vanessa.

Gemma smiled when he saw him coming down into the bleachers. She gave him a look, then nodded. "Of course. If I win, I want a day at the zoo with you and Cian." It would be a treat for both herself and the lad to spend time
with Patrick.

Taking the infant with a smile, she nodded to Karina. "Have fun." Ysa settled on her hip, she eyed Segan and smirked, then looked at Karina. "Don't let him win, Karina."

"Don't worry, I'll beat the both of 'em," Karina boldly claimed. Hoping she wouldn't eat her words later!

Claiming her seat next to Segan, she settled Ysa on her lap and started clapping, the babe mimicking with pudgy hands, laughing and kicking. "Say 'go rina!'" Ysa would try to mimic the words, though it was just more like ooooeeeena.

"And if I win, will you cook me dinner?" He would not bring his son this time but enjoy such an evening to himself and her. "Shall we then?" He would ride Grainne.

"Aye, I'll do me best Segan," wary glance upon Karina, "so what are we betting this time?" Slow press of a smile as he hoped to win again, get on a streak.

"It's a bet." She had been taking more lessons from Herself so she'd be ready.

He set to tickling Ysa while Van held her, knowing she would squeal, high pitch and wiggle in her arms.

Oddly enough she overheard Patrick with the same idea that she'd had herself! "I think the loser has to make the winner a meal. Including dessert." And for both their sakes she sure hoped she won! It was decided she'd ride Satyr and she moved to give her name and get the horse ready.

Van was far too used to Ysa's squeals and wiggling, and she'd gotten very good at wiggling. She could manage to wiggle herself right off Van's lap when she wasn't busy laughing at being tickled. Van just smiled over to Segan. "What do you suppose their bet will be?"

Gemma picked Sassy Sally tonight. Once she was ready, she mounted and waited to see which gate.

"Maybe the winner should get to pick what the loser cooks..." That would add a level of challenge to it!

"I'll ride Prancer," as the two headed for the stables and stalls. "So a dinner with dessert," sounded like a good one to him. "Can you cook?" stepping out of swatting range as he teased her then got mounted up. "I'll go for that.." pressed smile was back in place.

Karina was just glutton for punishment!

"Nope." She admitted freely, flashing Rhett a wide grin as she swung up into the saddle. "So you better hope I win." Food for thought for Rhett....

Wally could be heard loud and clear over the megaphone. "This race is for food it seems, so best the loser can cook or the winner loses!" They could hear him laughing before clearing his throat, "We have starting from gate number one on down, Patrick Frasier riding Grainne, Gemma Quinn riding Sassy Sally, Rhett Shawnesey riding Prancer and Karina riding Satyr. Please get ready," as he waited for the flag man.

"Wait, I'm not so sure I can handle a night of not eating..." stalling as he debated something else. Glancing back to the stands, "if I win I get a massage." Grinning in turn, " a good long one, with the oils and liniments."

"What, you don't think I could cook if I tried?" She huffed, but couldn't maintain that for long... a smirk crept back in. "Well you'd probably be right about that." Eyes swept him and narrowed slightly at his next suggestion. "You better be a damn good cook to make a meal from you equal to that sort of massage from me...."

"You will have to win to find that out.." grin got bigger in challenge before he called up to the bleachers. "SEGAN, FULL BODY MASSAGE IF WE WIN!" He was watching Van's expression.

The whole world got to hear that as he mumbled, "that's not such a bad idea for a bet..." surely Gemma would hear it.

Van's eyes went wide and the clapping stop. "You better be joking of such a proposal Rhett Shawnesey!"

Segan was laughing, "well, then, you wish if Rhett wins you make me dinner instead?" Being they were going along with those two riding for themselves and in their place.

"Hmm.." She was considering but when Rhett let out that holler, she could hardly refuse! Where another girl might have blushed she burst out laughing. Probably along with most everyone in the stands. "Oh c'mon Vanessa!" Egging her friend on, of course.

Patrick had her laughing and she gave him a look. "Do you want to change yours?" They'd have to do it somewhere other than the manor though. Gran might not allow it.

"I'll keep ours as is, next month though... " so they had a bet prepared at least on his part.

"Karina, you're not right on many levels, my friend." She looked at Segan and smiled. "I think that sounds fair enough."

"Not right?" She echoed Vanessa, giving Rhett a strange look, then shrugged. "Been called worse." And then she was leaning down close over Satyr's withers, waiting for the flag to fall.

Perhaps she'd been called worse, but Van loved Karina like a sister. Her not right-ness was part of her charm.

It seemed that the bets were in place, the finer points worked out as the flag went down.. ready or not! "We have Karina shooting out of the stall like a bat out of hell. She is determined to win this race but we shall see. Gemma is next with both men nose to nose."

"Holy-!" Explicit deleted as Satyr took off, fittingly, like a bat out of hell. Karina had to wrap her fingers in the horse's mane with a vice grip to stay in the saddle!

Rhett looked over at Patrick, "ah, we need to win this!" Giving a holler to his stallion to live up to his name.

"I agree.." although he couldn't lose with their bet as the view was good from back here worth losing the race for. Really.

Settling Ysa on her lap, arms around her sides to clap along with her while watching the horses, pointing out where Karina was. Ysa watched on with big blue eyes, squealing in delight.

She laughed as Sally took off after Satyr, leaning forward to whisper encouragement to the filly.

"Karina is still in the lead with Gemma close behind, Rhett has picked up some speed but Patrick is still lounging behind enjoying the view..."

"C'mon Prancer, show your stuff in coming up from behind.. I know you can do it!" Although if he lost, luckily he could cook!

"Good horse, nice horse, I'll give you apples and sugar cubes if you keep up like this!" She flattened herself along the horse's shoulders to let Satyr soar.

"Doesn't look good for me winning..." but one never knew, the race wasn't over yet. He sat back, luckily for Van, he could cook too.

He was enjoying the view but if he let them get too far ahead, so would his view.. "shake a tail feather, Grainne."

Yes, lucky Van. Full package and already house broken! Ysa wiggled around and down off Van's lap to stand, holding onto her skirt. Van smiled over to Segan. "Never know."

"Good girl, Sally. Keep it up!" Although she didn't mind either way. It was all in fun.

"Seems Grainne was able to shake a tail feather down there as Patrick has passed out Rhett. Karina is determined to keep the lead and win this race, Gemma in second place. And they seem to be keeping their slots and at this rate will probably finish as such..."

Karina was barely having to urge Satyr on, it seemed the horse was as competitive as its rider. She had a determined set look on her face as she all but flew towards the finish.

He was grumbling under his breath, he should have ridden Thunder Thighs, mental note!

Date: 07-27-10
Poster: Patrick Frasier
Post # 36

"Go Karina!" And then Ysa's Oooooreeeeena!

He was keeping in view of Gemma.. behind her.

"I'll have to take him out back and beat him up for losing," lowly mumbled with the edge of laughter.


And well she knew it but then again, she didn't mind!

Segan got a glance and a bright smile. Ysa moved over to hold onto Segan while standing there, trying to watch the race.

"Gemma almost caught up to Karina but Karina managed to fly by the finish line first, Gemma on her tail, then Patrick. Rhett is still riding..."

Karina shot a glance over her shoulder as Gemma edged up, but too late! And the petite lass started laughing wildly as she sailed first over the finish. It was the second Hometown race she'd won and it was exhilarating! Satyr was still going strong and she had to saw on the reins to slow the horse, still laughing. "Woah now, slow down, we've already won!"

"There we have it folks, Karina to Win, Gemma to Place and Patrick to Show. Rhett finally crossing the line. He should ride Thunder Thighs next time."

"Well done, lass." She slowed Sally, walking her to cool her down. It didn't matter if the horse she rode won or not, she'd make sure they'd have treats.

"Yay!" She clapped, Ysa clapped and fell down on her bum, still clapping.

"It seems it was ladies night tonight at the races. Thank you all for coming." Which the crew would start cleaning up and closing things down for the night. Such would take a good hour and a half so plenty of time for anyone to see the horses or jockeys before they left.

He didn't have to worry about cooling down Prancer, he never got going! So he dismounted and went to get himself a drink of water. Hell with the water, he got himself some potcheen in a flask.

"I LIKE this horse!" Karina swung out of the saddle and gave Satyr several heartfelt pats. Now this was the sort of racehorse she'd like to own herself! After handing the horse off to a stablehand, she went to catch up with Rhett. She came up from behind, throwing her arm around his hips and another hand on his shoulder, the better to stand on her toes and murmur in his ear. "If you're a good enough cook, you might get that massage anyway." A wicked grin growing, trying to placate him after his loss.

"Looks like I owe you a dinner some evening soon and Rhett a beating.." chuckling under his breath as he could feel for the lad in not winning the race. There would always be other races though.

A quiet laugh, she nodded. "Aye, it seems you do. Shall we go congratulate everyone?" Ysa was scooped up and Vanessa stood and waited for Segan.

Brows lifted as blue eyes turned her way, hard not to with her arm around his hips and a hand on his shoulder. The offer had a glint light up in his eyes, "then you can bet it will be the best dinner you ever had.."

"Of course," he was up and close to assist as they headed down to the racetracks where they were. "Congratulations, win or lose, you're all winners in my book."

Ysa held comfortably, she walked with Segan to where everyone else was. "Indeed, congrats everyone. You especially, Rhett. Not every day someone gets to cook for Karina."

"So, it will be a day at the zoo with Cian too," coming up alongside Gemma, "congratulations to you Karina, Gemma, a good race."

Her grin only grew at that, glad that he wasn't taking it too hard. She wouldn't even tease him about how slow his horse had been... she might be impish but she wasn't cruel enough to put salt in a wound. There was a certain spark 
 in her eye just for Rhett before she turned towards the others as they crowded around. "Thanks, and thanks. That Satyr can soar!" And a laugh at Vanessa's comment. She was right about that, nobody had ever cooked for Karina before. Well, except for Hazel...

And Van!


Once one of the men took Sally, she dismounted and grinned at Patrick. "Aye, and it'll be fun." She'd even see to a picnic lunch for them! Though she might not cook it. It would depend on how things went the day before.

"I advise not to ride Prancer for he doesn't run but prances in place!" Finally chuckling before taking a good burn of the pure then held the flask out for Karina.

"Thank you Segan." She gave her brother a hug, then tickled Yas under the chin before smiling at Patrick again. "I'm looking forward to spending the day with the two of you."

His son would be happy his father lost if he had know the bet for if he won. He would still get a bet that would have Gemma cooking a dinner. Maybe he heard about her not being able to boil water until she lost the bet to him and had cooked a very good breakfast for he and his son at the Quinn manor. Maybe the grandmother had help and may have noticed Gemma actually wanting to learn.

Part of the reason Herself was tickled that Gemma had lost that bet!

And Vanessa of course! Karina took the flask for a nice burning swig, then handed it back to Rhett. A smile came brightly to her face as she reached for Ysa briefly to swoop the infant up in her arms. "Did you see me ride, did ya, lil girl?" She started laughing too when Ysa let out a peal of squealing laughter. "Well, I for one wouldn't mind a little more than Rhett's got in his flask, want to go to the Thistle?"

Ysa was all giggles! She was also getting big at seven months old. Van let go of the little one and smiled seeing her with Karina. "I think that sounds excellent."

Gemma got a good hug in return, "would you like to hold Ysa?" Wondering how this particular sister was with children. Van was going to inherit a big family when they got married.

Yes, she was. That was okay though. Big families were more than welcome!


One thing at a time, please. She was fine with older children but babies were a whole 'nother thing. "No. " She held up her hands, laughing. "I'll probably make her cry!"

She smiled to Gemma. "You can't make her cry. She's a perpetually happy child." Thankfully. Van was blessed in that aspect.

Which he took another swing before capping the flask. "Whenever you are ready, the surrey awaits.."

"Would you like to go to the Thistle too, Gemma?" As he would then see her home, stay the night at one of his cousins there or stay at the Thistle.


She chuckled then looked at Patrick. "Aye, I would."

Ysa was hitched comfortably onto her hip, one arm holding the babe securely while the other went around Rhett's waist. She was feeling extra good after her big win.... and as the days passed she was beginning to care less about who might see them together, whose eyes could notice their closeness. The fear of that was fading and the abandonment of it was a nice feeling too.

One of his men brought one of their riding horses around, "shall we then?" As hers was brought over as well. Mounting up, he would start towards Heathfield at her side.


"Aye. And no more racing tonight." It would be easier to talk if they rode at a leisurely pace.

One of the maintenance men brought the surrey over to the group before getting out with a salute then back to doing his chores. The crew here was helpful like that.

She looked at Segan and gave him a little nudge, then followed behind Rhett and Karina towards the surrey. She had something she wanted to speak with Karina about, but would wait until they got to their destination.

"You ought to consider buying one of the three race horses left. I think Skade, named after a huntress might be a good one." Just throwing that in there as his arm went about her shoulders as he guided them over to the surrey. Once there he would see her in, holding Ysa if needed or if Van took her.

He had slipped away to talk to the jockey that rode his racehorse Fandango to see how he did, he came back very pleased, jogging over in time to get nudged. "Shall we? Fandango took Show in the second race." There had been three nose to nose so it had been an exciting race.

"Y'know.... I've been thinking about it actually." Not surprisingly, Karina took a long time with decisions that meant spending alot of money. But after enjoying so many of the races, she was starting to think owning a racehorse might be a good investment. She handed Ysa down to Rhett carefully to climb into the surrey, then took the babe back once she was seated. Karina did love spending time with Ysa (and spoiling her of course...).


He was into the driver's seat, leaving Segan with Vanessa in the back. "Then you ought to do it. They can earn quite a bit of money over the months. But mostly, it's exciting to watch."


Vanessa climbed into the surrey behind Karina and Rhett, smiling and offering to take Ysa if she was tired of holding the babe.

Which he was in right next to her with an arm to go along the back of the seat, cushioned ones.

Once they were all in.. he tapped the reins and off they went.


And off they would go to the tavern... in the shiny little surrey with the friiiiiinge on the tooooop!


-continued at the Thistle-

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