The team at Kelso Racecourse really know how to have a good time, so when I heard that we’d booked The Balancing Ducks as part of the entertainment on Ladies Day I was intrigued and immediately looked them up online.
Basically it’s a sort of puzzle which looks amazing fun. There’s a seesaw and a load of yellow plastic ducks and the object is to load as many ducks as possible onto each side of the seesaw while keeping it balanced. By deploying the basic principles of physics, one duck positioned at the very end of the seesaw can act as a counterweight to several ducks positioned on the opposite side – as long as the ducks on the other side are positioned close to the centre of the seesaw.
The whole concept of the balancing duck game is a bit like a bookmaker balancing his book – so if all the readers of this blog back The Ferrymaster (this week’s selection for the Scottish Grand National), the horse’s price will have to contract and other horses’ odds may lengthen.
It could also be a metaphor for managing Ladies Day itself. For every additional racegoer that buys a ticket and every additional activity we lay on for racegoers, there needs to be an equal and opposite consideration in the management plan.
So, for example, for every extra few kegs of beer that we expect to sell, we order an extra pallet of water to give away to racegoers – because it’s bound to be a beautifully baking hot day and it’s important to provide an alternative to booze for slaking the thirst of racegoers.
We also have to be careful to balance the bookings. So when we’ve sold all the available seats in the grandstands, the Final Furlong Marquee and the Berrymoss Marquee, we’ll be wondering whether we can put up extra marquees – or extend them to take more tables. But if we sell more tables, we’ll need longer bars, more staff, more chefs, and so on. There will come a point, when we can’t find any more ducks to balance all the hospitality guests, that we’ll have to put up the ‘sold out’ signs. But we haven’t reached that point yet – so book now while we’ve still got space.
There are still a few Early-Bird admission tickets left too. These are the cheaper tickets that we sell to those that are really organised; those that that leave it later may still be able to buy tickets, it’s just that the privilege of booking late is offset by a higher price. It pays to book early.
Early bookers can start to plan their day, their outfits and their tans. It’s the early bookers that are most likely to scoop the prizes for being the best dressed, and to have arranged a suitable lift home following the After Party where The Balancing Ducks will be playing live on stage in front of the Ladies Day crowd.
Ah… it turns out we didn’t get the plastic duck game after all, but never mind – The Balancing Ducks are a great band and I’m sure you’ll love them as much as we do.