Two Top Equine Rivals Face Off In 95th Virginia Gold Cup June 27

First time for spectator-less, livestreamed event

WARRENTON, Va., June 22, 2020—This year, for the first time in its 95-year history and due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Virginia Gold is being held as a livestream event only—no spectators. For one of the largest steeplechase race meets in the U.S., not having its usual 60,000 on-site spectators and not hearing the roar of the crowd as horses race for the finish, will be missed by many.

On Saturday, June 27, the Virginia Gold Cup will be livestreamed starting at 12:15 p.m. EDT. Jockeys, trainers, grooms and only essential personnel are allowed on the race grounds and all are following strict CDC and health department guidelines. The livestream is available at no cost and may be seen at this link

Doc Cebu leads the 2018 Interntional Gold Cup en route to victory. Photo by Tod Marks.

While 106 horses will run in 10 races on the 27th  with $220,000 in purse money, the signature race is the Virginia Gold Cup with its $40,000 purse. While the other races have as many as 14 contenders, the Virginia Gold Cup is a timber race that requires stamina and ability. The race is four miles, which is long for many horses (the hurdle races throughout the day are 2-1/8 miles long.)

While the Virginia Gold Cup has attracted a quality field of entries, two horses in particular stand out—Andi’amu and Doc Cebu. They are timber champions and each horse has a solid record of winning. In 2019, Andi’amu won the Virginia Gold Cup by three lengths. Doc Cebu won the International Gold Cup in 2017 with an 11-length victory and he won again in 2018. He was second in the esteemed 2020 Middleburg Hunt Cup two weeks ago against Andi’amu, the winner.  

Andi’Amu leaves the winners circle after capturing the 2020 Middleburg Hunt Cup June 13 at Glenwood Park.

Another contender for the Virginia Gold Cup is Schoodic. He won the 2019 International Gold Cup and Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. He opened his timber career in 2019 with three starting victories. Other entries include Lemony Bay, Super Saturday, Curve of Stones, Storm Team and Codrington College—all are formidable contenders as we know horses are not always predictable.

The Virginia Gold Cup race gets underway at 3 p.m. EDT on June 27. There are also other exciting races throughout the day.  The Steeplethon, a three-mile timber race at 1:30 p.m. takes horses and jockeys around a very unusual course that includes a big splash as horses gallop across a pond as part of the course.

In addition to racing, there will be virtual tailgate, hat and trivia contests throughout the day. Learn more at :,  or @vagoldcup. Be sure to include #vagoldcup2020. Entries must be sent by midnight Saturday, June 27. Winners will be selected by 5 p.m. on Monday, June 29 and notified on the week of June 29.  The winning tailgate (first place) will receive an Oakwood Box to the 2020 International Gold Cup.  Runners up and hat contest winners will receive Gold Cup t-shirts, commemorative cups, and Gold Cup hats.  For the tailgate contest, three winners will be selected in first, second and third place based on creativity, theme and quality of menu. For the hat contest, five winners will be selected—most glamourous, most outrageous, best racing theme, best men’s hat and best child’s hat. 

Andi’Amu beat Doc Cebu and Schoodic among others Jun e 13 at the Middleburg Spring Races.

Trivia questions throughout the day on the 27th will include questions to action on the livestream. First respondents with correct answers will be able to win tickets to future Gold Cup races, hats, shirts, etc.

“We hope some of our many Virginia Gold Cup fans will celebrate the day with safe-distancing watch parties, tailgating and hat contests,” stated Dr. William Allison, chairman of the Virginia Gold Cup Association.

For more information on the 95th running of the Virginia Gold Cup, visit

The 2020 Virginia Gold Cup Races are presented by Brown Advisory, the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, the Virginia Thoroughbred Association, Virginia Equine Alliance and the Virginia Breeders Fund.

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About the Virginia Gold Cup

The Virginia Gold Cup is one of the largest and oldest steeplechase race meets in the country. Typically run every spring on the first Saturday in May, it has been hailed as Virginia’s answer to the Kentucky Derby. It was the first steeplechase to have sanctioned pari-mutuel wagering in the Commonwealth. Known for its quality racing, spectacular scenery and lavish tailgating, the event attracts more than 60,000 spectators annually.  It is held at Great Meadow in The Plains, Va., approximately 45 minutes west of Washington, D.C. in the heart of Virginia horse country. For more information visit