My family plays this game a lot and we have really gotten to know the Horses and Events well.
So now when we play we don't just randomly deal out the none event cards, we "draft" them using the sushi go / 7 wonders style drafting mechanic with multiple rounds of 6 cards (or less) dealt to each player.
Then we move into the "events" phase of the game with access to ALL the cards we drafted in the previous rounds.
We only flip over 1 event at a time and play the best hand we can. After 9 events have been played we count ribbons who ever has the most wins. in the event of a tie, the players who tied will compete in 3 more events.
If there is still a tie after that...Shared victory!
This makes the game fun. Because, DRAFTING is fun.
Drafting with this game is a cool memory builder. You not only need to pick the "strong" horse but also the horse that has a high "favor" ranking in one of the events. Then you have to fight the urge to play that horse at the Wrong time and miss the big win!