All of the inside scoop on Virginia's biggest day of Steeplechase racing -- the Virginia Gold Cup. Hey, 50,000 of your closest friends can't be wrong! Do you have your tickets yet?

Friday, September 28, 2007


Here's how you impress people at your International Gold Cup tailgate: Start polishing up on what is happening in the sport of steeplechasing.

Last weekend Sonny Via's Good Night Shirt came off a 45 day vacation to win the inaugural Lonesome Glory Stakes at Belmont Park. Yes, that's the same Belmont where they run the third and final leg of flat racing's Triple Crown. The Vias are nice people who live in Free Union down by Charlottesville.

Lonesome Glory was a champion steeplechaser who had his retirement party right here at Great Meadow (stuff like that wows 'em every time, you know the details!).

The race had a purse of $168,400, so folks were taking it rather seriously. Ernie Oare's EMO Stables' Orison finished second. Mr. Oare is also a nice man and he lives in Warrenton, the quaint little town just down the road from Great Meadow.

A horse named Preemptive Strike was third.

You can make up the rest. Who's gonna know?


OK, let's get this straight up front. Part of the allure of the International Gold Cup is the spectacular fall foliage, the wonderful fall weather, the beautiful women, the handsome guys, all the great tailgates and some world class horse racing.

The other wonderful part of the allure is knowing so little about the actual racing part that you are never inclined to scream when something goes wrong. If the jockey you pull for does something stupid, unlike in OTHER SPORTS, you won't be bothered simply because you probably won't notice this little blunder. If you're horse is having an off day, how will you know? It's all good.

On a beautiful day in the country, it will all seem like it's going swimmingly...Think how much nicer that is than attending a sporting event with a negative outcome littered with decisions being made by overpaid knuckleheads...Does this sound familiar?

Oh, and you don't have to wear any really ugly clothes either...

We thought you would agree...Do you have your International Gold Cup tickets yet?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Oh yeah, we already did that...However:


The Virginia Gold Cup Association announced today that riders from across Europe will compete in the upcoming 70th Running of the International Gold Cup on Saturday, October 20, for the Fegentri World Championship . The jockeys are official members of the International Federation of Amateur Riders (FEGENTRI). As amateur riders, they come from varied backgrounds and have full time professions such as banking, high technology, doctors, dentists and lawyers. Some students also compete. All are united by a common passion for horseracing and an addiction to the adrenaline rush they get from the speed.

(Of course, they are also united by being a little bit crazy, yes?)

The International Gold Cup, presented by Porsche of North America, has a long-standing history of international involvement. One of the most prestigious timber races in the country, the event includes seven races timber, brush, and the flat. Attracting the finest jump-race contenders in the United Sates and Europe, the International Gold Cup presents purses (prize money) totaling over $175,000. Pre-race festivities, including Jack Russell terrier races and a musical ride demonstration by the U.S. Park Police, add to the genteel character and family enjoyment of an autumn day in Virginia horse country.

New this year, the International Gold Cup is extremely proud to host a Porsche Sports Car Exhibition, presented by Porsche Club of America and the Washington, D.C. area Porsche dealers, will feature an exciting display of vintage and current model Porsches. Porsche enthusiasts will be on hand to share their passion for and knowledge of these gorgeous exotics. So, there is horse power both on the field and off the field.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Virginia's fall steeplechase season is rapidly approaching, do you know where your plaid is?

The first event is Sept. 15 - Thornton Hill Hounds Point-to-Point, followed by the new Blue Ridge Hunt Fall Races Sept. 22.

Post time for Thornton Hill is 12:30 p.m.; races include timber, hurdles and turf along with a hound race. The Thornton Hill course is just south of Sperryville in Rappahannock County. Details are online: .

The Blue Ridge races run Sept. 22 starting at 1 p.m. at historic Woodley Farm south of Berryville. Races include timber, hurdles and turf. Check the Web site for more information: .

These races give horsemen the opportunity to tune up for the rich National Steeplechase Association fall season. NSA races in Virginia include the Sept. 30 Foxfield Fall Races near Charlottesville, Oct. 6 and 7 Virginia Fall Races in Middleburg, Oct. 13 Morven Park Races in Leesburg, Oct. 21 INTERNATIONAL GOLD CUP RACE at Great Meadow, Oct. 28 Steeplechase at Oak Ridge south of Charlottesville and the Nov. 3 Montpelier Races near Orange.