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Clockwise

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"Clockwise" by Lesley Spanos. Acrylic painting on Multimedia Artboard, 5 x 7". Copyright ©2010 Lesley Spanos, all rights reserved.

"Clockwise" by Lesley Spanos. Acrylic painting on Multimedia Artboard, 5 x 7". Copyright ©2010 Lesley Spanos, all rights reserved.

Know how to find state fairgrounds on a satellite image? Look for the racetrack. Almost every state fairground featured horse racing in its past. Some tracks were decommissioned decades ago, yet remnants are still visible from the air, looking like architectural ruins from an ancient culture. Others remain intact, but are used only for concerts and motor events. A few are still fully functional equine facilities, featuring horse racing during the fair.

I consider myself lucky because my state fair in Indiana has three days of harness racing, and serves as a year-round training facility for the horses. The racing is non-parimutuel, meaning there is no gambling. Unless you’re a hard-core gambler, that’s actually a good thing, because no gambling means fewer restrictions on the racegoers. The barns are open and the public is invited to walk through and meet the horses. Trackside, it’s possible to photograph the horses from any spot on the outer rail, as long as you can deal with shooting through a chain link fence. It’s worth the slight inconvenience to get shots of the action so close you sometimes feel like you’re one of the drivers.

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