Attending the Spring Racing days, where world class horses compete for prestigious trophies can be exciting for some but could spell a complete wash out, for hay fever sufferers. However, with a bit of preparation and awareness, you can still participate and enjoy the race day festivities.
Dust from the carpark and mounting yard exacerbated by seasonal breezes, means the race scene can be problematic for those who experience hay fever. Coupled with exposure to horse dander and a variety of grassy pollens around the track, horse racing could be one of the least favourable sporting environments for your average hay fever punter. A recipe for disaster? Not necessarily.
A personalised form guide
Some of you may recall grandparents using the phrase “forewarned is forearmed”. Well you can be four lengths ahead of the rest of the field if you know the predicted pollen count before you head to the track. By checking the predicted pollen count for your day at the track you’ll have a better idea of your anticipated hay fever reactions.
You can prepare for the day by using your recommended hay fever medication in the lead up to the event, on and during the day. If you’re still sneezing and snotty from being out and about, have a preservative-free saline nasal spray on hand, such as Flo Saline Plus to help wash away those annoying airborne pollens, dust or dander.
Race day tactics
For gents, when planning race day outfits, you may want to reconsider fresh flowers on your jacket lapel. Sometimes the fragrance of some flowers can trigger hay fever symptoms, rather than of the flower itself, so you may want to steer clear of any flowers with a strong odour.
And ladies, you might want to use a light touch with perfume, as these too may trigger flare ups in those with a sensitive noses and/or hay fever. For those who find cigarette smoke can set off their hay fever symptoms, you’d do well to stay within the smoke-free areas of the race course.
Hot race tip!
Did you know approximately 80 per cent of young horses (2 years of age) may catch a cold at some point during the season? Just like school children, they are exposed to all kinds of different bugs when mixing with other race horses, in a busy stable yard or at the track. Just like us, horses of all ages may also experience allergic reactions to pollens, mould and dust. Their allergic symptoms may take the form of a “chesty” cough, continual eye discharge and lethargy.
Hayfever or not, there’s nothing like the atmosphere trackside so with a little preparation, you can still have a winner of a day!
- Melbourne Pollen Website
- Only Melbourne: spring racing carnival flowers
- ABC News: when others abhor the scent you adore
- Second Opinion: hay fever in horses
- Racing Post: so horses can suffer from hay fever too