The racecourse was not that hard to find. Even though Ye Shuang had not been there before, with a search on the internet, she got the general direction easily.
Knowing that the group of socialites had already left, Ye Shuang also prepared to move. Sister Yuan did offer to fetch her, but considering the awkward social interactions it would entail, Ye Shuang rejected her kind offer.
When she arrived at the racecourse, she did not receive the call from Han Chu, but she was instead spotted by the group of socialites. The girls, who considered Ye Shuang their mahjong buddy, quickly waved her over. After some simple greetings, Ye Shuang found out that Sister Yuan's group had not arrived yet.
"Ruan Ruan surely has sacrificed a lot this time." Sister Yuan's full name was Yuan Ruan, so her group of friends referred to her as Ruan Ruan. After the group of socialites confirmed everyone's status, they rushed over, giggling, to greet those who had arrived early. "She has hired the current provincial horse rider for this; he's on the way here as we speak. Since we have free time on our hands, shall we ride a few rounds ourselves?"
Technically speaking, the person who was in the bet with the people from the capital was only Yuan Ruan. Others were there merely to provide spiritual support and to be a busybody. This had plenty to do with the fact that Yuan Ruan had asked Ye Shuang for a horse appraisal; her group of friends thought this was refreshingly new or else the gathered group would not have been so big.
For most, this kind of small bet was nothing out of the ordinary—winning or losing was of no consequence—the size of the event was dependent on how many people were interested in joining. After all, a loss wouldn't cause too much damage; everyone knew where the bottom line was. Even if the people from the capital were born with a natural sense of superiority, they were also raised with the sense to know that an outsider, however strong, should always respect the locals.
Therefore, this was nothing more than a joyful outing for the group of girls. Since the main character had not arrived yet, they considered playing themselves first. Ye Shuang did not ruin their fun. Since everyone had agreed to go along with that suggestion, she also followed along as they went to select their horses.
The racecourse had its own trainers, and they knew Ye Shuang was coming that day, so they considered it a day-off for them. It was not that the group of girls all had faith that Ye Shuang was more professional than these people, but it was mainly the small circle mentality acting up. They could be more like themselves around Ye Shuang compared to a complete outsider. Yes, they were not that close to Ye Shuang, but at least they were closer to her than the people working at the racecourse.
The horses given to the socialites to play naturally were of a different standard from actual race horses.
Horse-racing, as everyone knows, are dominated by purebred, and the unrulier the horse, the better. That wild vigor was important to achieve a great result in the races.
Horse-riding though was something else completely, especially those to be ridden by a group of girls. That required gentle and obedient horses, and the key point was, they had to have a good temper. Since no one expected the girls to have good riding skill, if the horse reacted badly to an inexperienced rider like one who would pull on the reins too tight or squeeze her legs too tight around the horse's torso, the racecourse might be slapped with a lawsuit.
After leading the group of girls to the stable and assigning each of them their personal horses, Ye Shuang rejected their invitation to play with them. She decided to make use of this opportunity to get a look at the horses they had available to prepare for the upcoming race.
To earn this part-time reward, Ye Shuang had spent the past few days at home not only learning more about head-hunting but also brushing up on her knowledge of horse-racing and appraisal. Combining the information that she had found online and her own knowledge on musculature and equine physiology, she reached the conclusion that purebred horses were definitely better than normal horses.
However, the main gathering places for the best purebred were in Europe or America. In terms of this, Asian countries were definitely lacking; the only country that was slightly famous for purebred Asian horses was Japan.
Some might say, "But doesn't China has famed horses like the Red Hare?" However, such a question only showed that they did not know the difference between fiction and reality. Yes, the Romance of Three Kingdom might have been inspired by real life events, and the Ferghana Horse is an actual horse breed in real life, but its original breeding place was Central Asia. It was brought into China during the Western Han Dynasty by Zhang Qian from the Western regions, the horse's original name being the Akhal-teke horse.
Therefore, for a small town like San Lin City, unlike an international hub like Beijing and Shanghai, the racecourse naturally would not have any way of gaining access to any non-Chinese horse breeds. Before Ye Shuang arrived at the racecourse, she already had a good idea of the race's result.
As she wandered aimlessly around the stables with no hope and anticipation in her heart, Ye Shuang was pleasantly surprised. She spotted a quality horse in an isolated stable.
It was rather obvious that this horse was the pride of the racecourse. Not only was its stable separated from other horses, it also had its own personal care-taker. Ye Shuang scratched her chin as she studied the mare. She felt that things were not as bad as she had first thought. She walked over to pat the care-taker on his shoulder. "Excuse me, is this a purebred?"
The man was also a horse-lover, and it was obvious that he enjoyed his work from the bright smile on his face as he brushed the horse's mane. When he turned around and saw it was a pretty girl who accosted him, his mood only got better. He felt like he had found another kindred spirit, and he exclaimed, "Of course it is! You can recognize it? Look at her height! Her size and her shape, this what they call a proper racing horse. Those powerful limbs, the lines of her muscles…"
"Thank you for the introduction, I'll pick this one, do you mind if I take a ride on her?" Ye Shuang cut the man off and was ready to have the horse try out the track.
The man was stunned, and when he saw this slender wisp of a girl reached for the horse, he said hurriedly, "Wait, you have no idea how wild the horse is…"
As he said that, as if on cue, the horse inside the stable started to turn violent. After a powerful neigh, she raised her front legs high in the air and kicked forward.
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